Wall Street ended without a trend, and seems to have opted for the "algorithmic straitjacket" from the very start of trading: all bets were off at 3.35pm, and the scores remained frozen for more than six hours.

But by freezing the situation, the US indices escaped the volatility that could have led to a "complicated" scenario in the event of a further downturn: this would have been the seventh for the Dow Jones, which finally clawed back 0.17% to 37,799.

The S&P500 lost 0.21% to 5,051, returning to its February 22 levels, and the Nasdaq Composite crumbled 0.12% to 15,865 (Tesla -2.7%, Apple -2%), confirming that the 15,950 barrier had been breached (next target 15,580, the February 21 "gap").

Jerome Powell's statements had a neutral impact: according to him, recent US inflation data have not given central bankers enough confidence to cut interest rates quickly.

The Fed may have to keep interest rates at 5.25% 'longer than expected': a rate cut in June looks increasingly uncertain in view of US retail sales, which came in above expectations on Monday (at +0.7%).

In Tuesday's statistics, the Commerce Department reported a 14.7% plunge in US housing starts in March compared with the previous month, while building permits fell by 4.3%.

In addition, US industrial production rose again by 0.4% in March (as in February), with a 3.1% jump in automobile production, and the industrial capacity utilization rate increased by 0.2 points to 78.4%.

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