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US markets closed mostly higher; Dow post minor losses

The US markets closed mostly higher on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq Composite touching a 2016 high outshining its main stock-market benchmarks. Investors were reluctant to carve out big positions as the Federal Reserve kicked off its two-day monetary policy meeting, with an updated statement due Wednesday. The Federal Open Market Committee marks its first gathering since the UK voted to leave the European Union on June 23, which resulted in global markets convulsing, highlighted by a selloff in assets perceived as risky. On the economy front, the new-home sales in June rose to a seven-year high while the Case-Shiller home-price index also inched up in May. New home sales jumped in June as sales data from prior months were revised upward, further signaling sturdy demand in the housing market. June sales rose 3.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000. That was the strongest since February 2008, beating the 560,000 forecast. The median price jumped to $306,700 in June, 6% higher than a year ago. Supply retreated to 4.9 months' worth of homes at the current sales pace.

Meanwhile, the US house prices, as the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city composite, saw a 0.9% gain in May to stretch the 12-month advance to 5.2%. Portland had the fastest 12-month growth, at 12.5%, and eight cities had faster annual price appreciation than they did in April. From the 2006 peak, the 20-city composite is down 8.8%; it's up 40.4% from the trough in 2012. Separately, an index that measures consumer confidence held steady in July, suggesting Americans are cautiously optimistic that the US economy will continue to grow. The consumer-confidence index was little changed this month, finishing at 97.3 compared with a revised 97.4 in July. The present-situation index, a measure of current conditions, rose to 118.3 from 116.6. The future-expectations index declined to 83.3 from 84.6.

The Nasdaq added 12.42 points or 0.24 percent to 5,110.05, S&P 500 gained 0.7 points or 0.03 percent to 2,169.18, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down by 19.31 points or 0.10 percent to 18,473.75.

The Indian ADRs closed mixed; Dr. Reddy's Lab was down 7.99%, HDFC Bank was down 0.27% and ICICI Bank was down 0.03%. On the other hand, Tata Motors was up 0.45% and Infosys was up 0.06%. 

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