While you were sleeping: UPDATE Wall St falls but Nasdaq touches record

Wall Street moved lower, after the Nasdaq touched a record high earlier in the day, as investors looked for fresh guidance on interest rate hikes from a slew of Federal Reserve policy makers speaking this week.

Apple shares climbed to a record after Barron's published an article predicting the stock could rise 10% in six months. The stock closed up 1.0% at $US141.46.

Speeches by a host of Fed speakers, including chairwoman Janet Yellen who is scheduled to give a keynote talk on Thursday, might offer further clues about the pace of rate hikes this year following last week's increase.

Chicago Fed president Charles Evans, who is slated to speak later in the day, told Fox Business Network TV that the central bank might raise rates twice more this year.

"Three is entirely possible," Mr Evans told Fox. "As I gain more confidence in the outlook I could support three total this year.

“If inflation began to pick up, that would certainly solidify [that expectation]. It could be three, it could be two, it could be four if things really pick up."

Wall Street eases back
Wall Street gave up earlier gains.

At the close of trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 8.76 points, 0.04%, to 20,905.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained half a point to 5901.53, a record close, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index eased 0.2% lower to 2373.47.

The Nasdaq reached an all-time high of 5915.12 earlier in the day.

In the Dow, declines in Visa and Home Depot shares, down 1% and 0.9% respectively, offset gains in Caterpillar and Nike shares, up 2.7% and 1.1%.

US government bond yields fell to their lowest level in more than two weeks, continuing a slide that began last week after the Fed signalled a gradual pace to rate rises.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.472% from 2.500% on Friday.

Oil price declines
Oil declined amid ongoing concern US producers are undermining co-ordinated international efforts to lower a global glut.

"I think oil is reacting still to the steady rise in the US rig count and the realisation that momentum is building to the downside from the repositioning of speculative interests in the market," John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital in New York, told Reuters.

The recent slump in oil prices is weighing on the initial public offering of Source Energy Services, Canada's largest distributor of fracking sand.

The Calgary-based company has cut the size of its IPO to about $C250 million ($US187 million) from $C300 million, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg.

It plans to sell shares at between $C13-15 apiece, down from $C17-20 a share previously, the document shows, Bloomberg reported.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the day with a 0.2% decline from the previous close. France's CAC 40 Index slid 0.3%, while Germany's DAX Index fell 0.4%. The UK's FTSE 100 Index squeezed out a 0.07% advance.


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