US stocks mostly fall to start new year

NEW YORK – Wall Street stocks mostly closed lower on Jan 2, wrapping up the first trading day of 2024 with the tech-focused Nasdaq logging its worst day since late October.

The Nasdaq Composite Index slumped 1.6 per cent to end at 14,765.94, while the broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.6 per cent at 4,742.83.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.1 per cent to 37,715.04.

“One of the concerns we have is that investors were extremely bullish going into this year. And we just think perhaps that was setting up for some disappointment,” said Mr Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset.

“We expect a modest pullback,” he added, noting “we just got a little overbought on the investor enthusiasm.”

While US stocks ended 2023 on a tepid note, major indices generally logged big gains for the year.

Among individual companies, shares of tech giant Apple tumbled 3.6 per cent on Jan 2 after a downgrade by Barclays, which pointed to factors such as weakness in iPhone sales volume.

There is also “geopolitical angst” after an Iranian warship entered the Red Sea, following the United States’ destruction of three Huthi boats, noted AFP

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