US markets had mixed fortunes on Tuesday after fresh employment data bolstered bets that the US Federal Reserve will cut interest rates as soon as March.
Apple and other megacaps gained while consumer staples stocks dipped after data showed US job openings dropped in October to the lowest level since early 2021, indicating that the labour market was easing.
"As interest rates rise and as demand slows, companies are pulling back on job openings, which is essentially what the Fed wants," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York.
"The Fed probably is done raising rates, and the only question outstanding is when they start to cut," Stovall said.
Another report showed US services sector activity picked up in November.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2 percent to 36,124, the S&P 500 lost 0.1 percent to 4,567, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3 percent to 14,229.
US stock trading this week has been uneven after the S&P 500 rebounded nearly 9 percent in November. The index on Friday touched a four-month intra-day high.
Stock market investors expect the Fed to keep rates unchanged at its meeting next week.
On Friday, the more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report for November will offer greater clarity on the state of the labour market.
Wall Street's most valuable companies rose as Treasury yields dipped to multi-month lows. Nvidia, Amazon.com, Tesla and Apple all gained for much of the session. (Reuters)