Wall Street's two-day rally fades on tech, oil weakness

By Medha Singh (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were struggling on Friday to extend their rally to a third straight day, weighed down by a drop in the energy and technology sectors at the end of a week that has seen the market swing wildly. The week started off with Wall Street's worst-ever Christmas Eve drop, followed by Dow Jones Industrial Average's record 1,000-plus point surge on Wednesday and a stunning reversal late on Thursday that ensured two days of gains

Reuters December 29, 2018 00:06:08 IST
Wall Street's two-day rally fades on tech, oil weakness

Wall Streets twoday rally fades on tech oil weakness

By Medha Singh

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were struggling on Friday to extend their rally to a third straight day, weighed down by a drop in the energy and technology sectors at the end of a week that has seen the market swing wildly.

The week started off with Wall Street's worst-ever Christmas Eve drop, followed by Dow Jones Industrial Average's record 1,000-plus point surge on Wednesday and a stunning reversal late on Thursday that ensured two days of gains.

The trend continued on Friday as the three main indexes flitted between gains and losses. The swings, though, were to a lesser degree, with the S&P 500 rising as much as 0.78 percent before dropping 0.64 percent to a session low.

Technology stocks, which had powered the rally earlier this year and were at the center of the recent pullback, were flat, while energy stocks slipped 0.33 percent.

Holding the market were the financial and health sectors, up about 0.4 percent each.

"We're seeing some big moves today and I expect the wild ride to continue, like the ones we've seen in the last couple of trading days," said Ryan Nauman, market strategist at Informa Financial Intelligence in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

"Since the beginning of October, investors are more defensive. Rather than buying the dip, they are selling the rally. They are looking to take gains when they can," Nauman added.

One dampener was a report that showed contracts to buy previously owned homes fell unexpectedly in November, the latest sign of weakness in the U.S. housing market.

At 11:36 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 20.07 points, or 0.09 percent, at 23,158.89, while the S&P 500 was up 2.33 points, or 0.09 percent, at 2,491.16. The Nasdaq Composite was up 5.59 points, or 0.08 percent, at 6,585.08.

While the three indexes are on pace to snap a streak of three straight weeks of losses, they are still down about 9 percent for December and on track for their biggest annual percentage drop since 2008.

Investors head into 2019 with a list of worries ranging from U.S.-China trade tensions, rising interest rates and a cooling economy to a partial U.S. government shutdown, which started on Saturday.

Among stocks, Tesla Inc rose 2.9 percent after the electric automaker named Oracle Corp co-founder Larry Ellison and Walgreens Boots Alliance's executive Kathleen Wilson-Thompson as two independent board directors.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.59-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.66-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded no new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded four new highs and 52 new lows.

(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.