Wall Street little changed as tech rally stalls

Wall Street little changed as tech rally stalls

By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) - The S&P 500 was flat on Friday as technology stocks fell after a six-day rally, while healthcare shares rose on expectations that President Donald Trump's speech on drug prices will largely spare the industry.

The tech sector was down 0.4 percent, as Apple dropped after a nine-day winning streak that saw it edge closer to $1 trillion in market capitalisation.

Also weighing was Nvidia, which fell 1.5 percent as investors worried that a short-term surge in demand for graphics chips from cryptocurrency miners may be undermining its core business with computer gamers.

The Nasdaq biotech index was up 1 percent, while the S&P healthcare index rose 0.4 percent ahead of Trump's speech.

The president is expected to address high drug prices and barriers to negotiating lower prices for seniors in the Medicare programme.

However, the policy proposals will have a relatively modest impact on the healthcare system, health industry sources briefed on the plans told Reuters.

"We'll see if it's 'buy the rumour and sell the news' though, because what's proposed and what ends up getting through often look completely different. So I'm not going to get excited one way or the other," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.

At 12:53 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 47.55 points, or 0.19 percent, at 24,787.08, the S&P 500 was up 0.82 points, or 0.03 percent, at 2,723.89 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 18.02 points, or 0.24 percent, at 7,386.95.

The Dow edged above 100-day moving average for the first time since April 18, following the S&P's similar move a day earlier, suggesting that the market may move higher.

"Stock market is the best predictor of economic activity. It's natural that we have volatility, modest corrections, but the upward trend is still going to be intact," said Tom Plumb, president and chief investment officer of Plumb Funds in Madison, Wisconsin.

Boosting the Dow was Verizon, which rose 3.2 percent after JPMorgan upgraded the wireless carrier to "overweight", saying 5G opportunity will start to crystallize in the next few months.

Symantec slumped 33.6 percent after the Norton Antivirus maker said it was investigating concerns raised by a former employee.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.15-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.08-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 28 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 116 new highs and 44 new lows.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.


Updated Date: May 12, 2018 00:05 AM

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