Wall Street flat as tech gains offset weakness in banks | Reuters

By Anya George Tharakan

U.S. stocks were little changed on Friday as bank shares fell on lingering effects of the Federal Reserve's less aggressive stance on future rate hikes, while a jump in Adobe lifted the technology sector. The S&P 500 financial sector was off 0.82 percent, led by losses in big banks including Wells Fargo and Bank of America. The index has outperformed in a post-election rally on bets of simpler regulations and on heightened expectations of higher interest rates. The rally lost some steam after the Fed on Wednesday stuck to its outlook for a gradual tightening in policy following a widely expected quarter point rate hike. "We got the rate increase that the market was looking for, albeit some of the future expectations were a little bit more muted then investors had been bracing for," said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank.

However, the S&P 500 is on track to score gains for the week, helped by the technology sector. The S&P tech index was supported on Friday by Adobe's surge to a record high of $130.30 after the Photoshop software maker reported strong earnings.At 12:33 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.74 points, at 20,933.81 and the S&P 500 was up 0.17 points, or 0.01 percent, at 2,381.55.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 2.44 points, or 0.04 percent, at 5,903.20.Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors marked slight gains, topped by a 0.54 percent rise in utilities.Amgen dropped 6.7 percent, weighing down the healthcare sector after analysts were unimpressed by results of a study on its cholesterol drug.

Amgen was also the biggest drag on the broader S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq.Tiffany's shares rose 2.8 percent to $92.48, after the high-end jeweler's fourth-quarter profit topped estimates.Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,696 to 1,181. On the Nasdaq, 1,437 issues rose and 1,315 fell.The S&P 500 index showed fifty one 52-week highs and three lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 110 highs and 38 lows. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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Published Date: Mar 17, 2017 11:30 pm | Updated Date: Mar 17, 2017 11:30 pm