Apple, other tech shares rise on mixed day for US stocks

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NEW YORK (AFP) - Apple and some other technology shares bounced on Tuesday (Sept 26) as bargain-hunters stepped in, lifting the Nasdaq on a mixed day for US stocks.

Apple, under pressure since a product launch earlier this month, jumped 1.7 per cent, the biggest gainer in the Dow. Other tech names scored smaller gains after tumbling Monday, including Facebook, Google-parent Alphabet and Netflix.

The tech-rich Nasdaq advanced 0.2 per cent to close the session at 6,380.16.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.1 per cent to end at 22,284.32, while the broad-based S&P 500 edged up less than 0.1 per cent to 2,496.84.

US Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen reiterated that she expects gradual interest rate increases will be appropriate, but acknowledged there was a possibility policymakers had "misjudged" the situation and low inflation might be more than just transitory.

US consumer confidence slipped in September, partly weighed down by hurricanes Harvey and Irma which slammed into Texas and Florida late last month, according to the Conference Board.

New home sales fell 3.4 per cent from July to an annual rate of 560,000 in August, seasonally adjusted, surprising analysts who forecast a decline of only 0.5 per cent.

Equifax rose 0.8 per cent after announcing that chief executive and chairman Richard Smith would step down in the wake of a massive data hack. The company tapped longtime Equifax executive Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr. as interim chief executive while it undertakes a search for a new leader.

Carnival cruise lines rose 2.9 per cent after reporting that bookings for next year are running ahead of this year's performance, despite a near-term hit from hurricanes and the big earthquake in Mexico.

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