By Yashaswini Swamynathan
A rise in technology stocks helped the Nasdaq eke out small gains on Thursday but was not enough to pull the S&P 500 and the Dow into the black as banks stocks weighed.The ADP payrolls report, which sets a precedent to the jobs data, showed 153,000 people were hired in the private sector in December compared with economists' expectation of 170,000.U.S. stocks rallied for nearly two months since Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election in November, taking the Dow tantalizingly close to the historic 20,000 mark. However, some analysts warned the market was poised for a correction."We are at the top of the range from the perspective of the Dow and the S&P, so that means we have a little bit of downside room to move, but frankly I think it will be fairly minimal," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab & Co.At 11:06 a.m. ET (1606 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 54.81 points, or 0.27 percent, at 19,887.35, the S&P 500 was down 4.75 points, or 0.21 percent, at 2,266 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 3.62 points, or 0.07 percent, at 5,480.63.
Seven of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with financials and consumer discretionary weighing the most on the broader index.Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan - part of the financial group that has gained the most in the post-election rally, were the biggest drags on the S&P.Goldman Sachs had a similar influence on the Dow.
"I suspect financials are just starting to catch up to the fact that rates have topped out in the near-term," Frederick said.Department stores Macy's dropped 14 percent and Kohl's nearly 18 percent after the companies cut their profit forecasts. Nordstrom and J.C. Penney lost 10 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
Online retailer Amazon.com, which has been eating into the sales of brick-and-mortar retailers, was up 2.3 percent at $774.50. The stock gave the biggest boost to the S&P and the Nasdaq.Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,528 to 1,286. On the Nasdaq, 1,506 issues fell and 1,184 advanced.The S&P 500 index showed 16 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 67 new highs and five new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
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Updated Date: Jan 05, 2017 23:00 PM