Wall Street rally takes a breather

WALL Street paused yesterday following a month-long rally, with investors bracing for higher volatility going forward as the best quarter in a year nears its end.

The Dow Jones industrial average shed 22.86 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 10,835.28. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dipped 2.97 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 1,144.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 3.03 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 2,376.56.

The S&P 500 is up 9.1 per cent in September, traditionally a weak month for stocks, as investors anticipate the Federal Reserve will take extra steps to spur economic activity.

Continuing a recent trend, volume was light. Only 7.4bn shares traded on the NYSE, Amex and Nasdaq yesterday, compared with the previous year’s daily average of 9.65bn shares.

The CBOE Volatility index rose 2.9 per cent to 23.25.