US Market Indexes Rally, but End Flat Tuesday

Dow dumps 400 points, on track for lowest close since April

Volume on USA exchanges was 9.44 billion shares, compared to the 8.01 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 82.66 points to 23,675.64.

The broader index gained 0.22 points to 2,546.16, after trimming a rally of more than 1% and falling into negative territory in afternoon trading.

Gold rose 0.8 percent to $1,251.80 an ounce.

The selloff continued on the Asian markets, with Japan's Nikkei slumping by 1.8 percent on Tuesday.

Retailers are also sinking, but banks are rising.

A separate report from the New York Federal Reserve showed a much bigger than expected slowdown in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in December. The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index indicated homebuilder sentiment had fallen to a three-and-a-half-year low.

The Russell 2000 is down 158.34 points, or 10.3 percent.

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USA stocks climbed Tuesday morning, putting at least a temporary halt to the steep market losses that circled the globe in prior days. More interest though will be on the statement accompanying the decision and the press conference of Fed Chair Jerome Powell. "He precipitated this sell-off in early October when he said we were a long way from the "neutral" federal funds rate". That means the DAX, which represents Europe's largest single economy, is also in a bear market. Stocks will need a bump higher these last two weeks to finish in the black. Pre-market trading is up slightly for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq. It lost just over 1,000 in the previous two days. -Chinese trade dispute, low oil prices, a possible USA government shutdown and the turmoil surrounding Britain's exit from the European Union.

"If the Fed doesn't raise rates it will look like it's succumbing to the bullying of Trump's tweets", Arone said.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump urged the Fed, which functions as the United States' central bank, not to raise interest rates for a fourth time this year.

While the equities market may have priced in the final hike of the year, investors will be looking for clues to the Fed's next move on monetary policies and its plan on interest rate hikes next year. "The hiatus on trade helps as well, but I'm a bit more skeptical about how long lasting that is", Ronald Temple, head of US equity at Lazard Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV.The Fed is likely to hike rates on Wednesday, even as President Donald Trump intensifies his attacks on the central bank.

"The psychology of the market is very fragile", said Tom Cahill of Ventura Wealth Management, who was not cheered by the idea of a Fed pause on higher rates.

Oil prices were rocked Monday, with benchmark West Texas Intermediate down almost 4 percent, resting below the critical $50 per barrel threshold.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 2.6 percent to $49.88 a barrel in NY. The $50 mark is crucial because oil producers find the path to profits more of a slog at sub-$50 prices.

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