|Dow, S&P rebound on US budget deal hopes
US stocks were mixed as the White House moved to convene meetings with leading members of Congress to seek an end to economic policy paralysis in Washington.
The S&P 500 and Dow were slightly higher, but the sell-off in tech stocks continued unabated from Tuesday, when the Nasdaq plunged 2 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 26.45 points (0.18 percent) at 14,802.98.
The broad-based S&P 500 added a bare 0.95 (0.06 percent) at 1,656.40, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 17.06 (0.46 percent) at 3,677.78, AFP reports.
Markets took in stride comments by President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Federal Reserve, Fed veteran Janet Yellen, who said she would keep policy focused on boosting growth.
Some tech stocks that have prospered in 2013 pushed lower. Netflix dropped 4.6 percent, Amazon slid 1.7 percent and Facebook dipped 0.8 percent.
Apple advanced 1.2 percent after announcing that its latest line of iPhone models will be launched in more than 50 new markets by November 1.
Hewlett-Packard, a Dow component, was another tech-sector standout, gaining 8.9 percent after the company said during an investor day that it expects an “acceleration'' of activity in 2015 after another year of transition in 2014.
Dow component Nike tacked on 0.9 percent after projecting 2017 revenues of US$36 billion, up from US$25.3 billion in 2013.
Fast-food restaurant chain Yum dropped 6.8 percent after earnings of 85 cents per share fell 7 cents shy of expectations, due in part to disappointing results in China.
Another restaurant chain, Darden Restaurants, jumped 7.1 percent after a report that activist fund Barington Capital Group was pushing to break up the company, which owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster and other chains.
Men's clothing retailer Jos. A Bank surged 6.4 percent after offering US$48 per share to acquire Men's Wearhouse in a deal that would be worth US$2.3 billion. Men's Wearhouse shares jumped 27.8 percent to US$45.03, but the company rejected the bid, which it said undervalues the company.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.65 percent from 2.64 percent, while the 30-year edged higher to 3.72 percent from 3.70 percent. Prices and yields move inversely.