US stocks traded lower on Tuesday as investors digested the latest economic data while waiting for Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks.
At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 48.63 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 26,678.91. The S&P 500 fell 10.93 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 2,934.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index erased 55.72 points, or 0.70 per cent, to 7,949.97, the Xinhua news agency reported.
On the economic front, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, a key measure of the American economy, declined to 121.5 in June, down from May’s recording of 134.1.
“The escalation in trade and tariff tensions earlier this month appears to have shaken consumers’ confidence,” the business research group said on Tuesday.
The group said although the index remains at a high level, “continued uncertainty could result in further volatility in the Index and, at some point, could even begin to diminish consumers’ confidence in the expansion.”
Sales of new single-family houses in May 2019 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6,26,000, the lowest level since December, the Commerce Department said.
Investors also awaited Powell’s speech which is scheduled to take place at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York city at 1 p.m. (1700 GMT).