US stocks ended higher on Tuesday, helped by a wave of takeover news involving tech companies such as Avaya Inc., but China's move to cool off its skyrocketing stock market limited Wall Street's broader advance and raised concern about a global equity sell-off.
A slide in shares of energy companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp., weighed on the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 in light post-holiday trading as US oil prices dropped about $2 a barrel.
The Chinese government's move, announced late in the US trading session, put investors on edge and contributed to a choppy session despite optimism about stock valuations in the tech sector.
"The concern is that China may be acknowledging that their markets are overheated by the action they've taken today," said Michael James, senior trader at regional investment bank Wedbush Morgan in Los Angeles. "Any little ripple like this is grounds for the (US) market to sell off."
The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 14.06 points, or 0.10 per cent, to end at 13,521.34. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched up 2.38 points, or 0.16 per cent, to close at 1,518.11. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 14.87 points, or 0.58 per cent, to finish at 2,572.06.
A slide in Chinese equities in late February set off a sell-off in stock markets around the world. Since then, Wall Street has surged on a wave of takeovers and share buybacks.