S&P 500 ends lower as utilities, healthcare weigh

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US equities failed to hold on to a second day of gains as momentum sparked by the Federal Reserve’s pledge of a gradual pace of policy changes faded and utilities and healthcare stocks weighed on the S&P 500.

Markets had advanced on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve lifted rates for the third time in a decade signalling confidence in the US economy. And while the S&P 500 started on the frontfoot, a sell-off in oil prices and shares of healthcare and utility companies saw the benchmark index ended 0.2 per cent lower at 2,381.38. Utilities were the biggest decliner of 11 major sectors falling 1.1 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1 per cent to finish the day 20,934.55, while the Nasdaq Composite was flat at 5,900.76.

Elsewhere, Treasury yields edged higher, with the 10-year note’s yield, which moves inversely to price, rising 3.6 basis points to 2.53 per cent. The dollar index, meanwhile, continued its retreat against a basket of its peers, falling 0.5 per cent.

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