Tech leads as US stocks again end higher

 A view of the New York Stock Exchange on Sept 3, 2020.
A view of the New York Stock Exchange on Sept 3, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK (AFP) - Tech shares led US stocks higher on Tuesday (Sept 15), with Apple launching new products as markets continued to climb back from a two-week slide.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index led major indices, winning 1.2 per cent to 11,190.32.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up a hair at 27,995.60, while the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.5 per cent to 3,401.20.

"The markets are still kind of testing things out following the sell-off the last couple of weeks," said Briefing.com analayst Patrick O'Hare.

"The market is trying to see if this rebound is here to stay."

After two weeks of declines, stocks jumped on Monday and rose much of Tuesday, although the rally petered out somewhat in the afternoon.

The ebbing of enthusiasm coincided with Apple's event unveiling a new smartwatch and a new subscription service bundling music, news and TV. Apple ended up 0.2 per cent.

O'Hare said the market's response was a "sell the event" reaction after bidding Apple higher in anticipation of the announcement.

Markets are looking ahead to a two-day Fed meeting concluding Wednesday with a press conference at which Chair Jay Powell is expected to maintain an accommodative stance.

Data from the Fed showed US industrial production continued to recover from the Covid-19 downturn in August but its pace was slowed by bad weather and a pullback in car manufacturing.

Banks were especially weak following presentations at a banking investors conference that highlighted the hit from low interest rates to bank earnings.

Bank of America dropped 1.8 per cent, JPMorgan Chase 3.1 per cent and Citigroup 6.9 per cent.

Kraft Heinz gained 0.3 per cent as it announced the sale of several leading cheese brands to France's Lactalis for US$3.2 billion (S$4.3 billion).