US stocks trade mixed amid upbeat economic data

New York: US stocks traded mixed on Tuesday as investors digested a batch of positive economic data and a senior US Federal Reserve official’s cautious speech.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 11.63 points, or 0.05 percent, to 25,831.28. The S&P 500 was down 0.38 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,792.43, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 10.19 points, or 0.13 percent, to 7,587.75.

Shares of Hertz Global tumbled nearly 14 percent at midday after US billionaire investor Carl Icahn cut his holdings in the US car and truck rental giant to 28.91 percent from 35.27 percent, shown in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Yet shares of Kohl’s rose over 7.5 percent after the US department store retail chain reported fourth-quarter earnings that topped market estimates.

Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded on a positive note at midday, with the real estate sector up over 0.5 percent, leading the advancers among the groups.

On the economic front, new single-family houses sales jumped 3.7 percent in December 2018 to an annual rate of 621,000 units, marking a seven-month high since May 2018, the US Census Bureau said in its latest monthly report on Tuesday.

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector reported continuous growth in February, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said in its latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report on Business on Tuesday.

The Non-Manufacturing Index registered 59.7 percent, which is 3 percentage points higher than the January reading of 56.7 percent. “This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a faster rate,” said ISM.