US mixed as Iseq inches upward
US stocks were mixed in volatile early trading after technology shares erased gains ahead of Facebook's earnings report. The Nasdaq 100 Index swung back to a decline, while the S&P 500 Index clung to gains that topped 1pc at their height.
GE sank to a nine-year low on disappointing results, while Under Armour surged on strong earnings. Facebook was due to report after the markets closed.
US stock investors remain on edge as largely stellar earnings have not provided any relief to selling that began amid concern that rising rates will crimp economic growth.
US-China trade talks are set to be a focus for investors in coming weeks. President Donald Trump on Tuesday blamed Democrats for what he called a market "pause", as the party is favoured to win control of the House in next week's midterm election. A week ago, the president blamed the Federal Reserve.
"The largest risks are the trade war and rising rates," said Michael O'Rourke, JonesTrading's chief market strategist. "When it comes to the midterm elections, most people are looking at them optimistically, in the sense that usually after midterms the stock market rallies. The stock market is going to do what it's going to do whether you vote Republican or Democrat."
In Ireland the Iseq index continued to regain some of its recent losses - spurred higher by a 3.55pc rise at CRH. The index closed up 0.88pc at 6103.03. Paddy Power Betfair rose almost 1pc, as investors digested details of a UK regulatory clampdown that analysts said was not as onerous as some had feared.