Wall Street ends near flat on cautious note ahead of Fed

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended near flat on Tuesday after a broad sell-off the day before, with worries over troubles at developer China Evergrande and uncertainty ahead of Wednesday's Federal Reserve policy news keeping a lid on the market.

Concerns over China Evergrande Group have put investors on edge amid coronavirus and economic growth worries.

Persistent default fears overshadowed efforts by Evergrande's chairman to boost confidence in the firm on Tuesday, while Beijing showed no signs it would intervene to stem any effects across the global economy.

"People have been preconditioned to buy pullbacks for most of the last year plus," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

"But that overhead nervousness is still there," he said. "The Evergrande situation is still a black cloud hanging over global markets. Combine that with uncertainty with Fed commentary coming tomorrow, and there's a reluctance to get overly aggressive on the long side."

Investors are waiting for the end of this week's Fed meeting that may shed light on when its massive purchase of government debt will begin to ease.

Officials will reveal new projections as investors also are on alert for any timing on rate tightening.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 47.93 points, or 0.14%, to 33,922.54, the S&P 500 lost 3.58 points, or 0.08%, to 4,354.15 and the Nasdaq Composite added 32.50 points, or 0.22%, to 14,746.40.

The S&P 500 index traded below its 50-day moving average, its first major breach in more than six months. The average has served as a floor of sorts for the index this year.

Analysts say a breach of the index's 200-day moving average is now in sight.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; additional reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Lisa Shumaker)

Copyright © Reuters 2008. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

News, commentary and research reports are from third-party sources unaffiliated with Fidelity. Fidelity does not endorse or adopt their content. Fidelity makes no guarantees that information supplied is accurate, complete, or timely, and does not provide any warranties regarding results obtained from their use.