By Tanya Agrawal
The S&P 500 and the Dow were little changed in early afternoon trading on Friday, but the Nasdaq was dragged down by a fall in technology shares.The Dow is on track for its sixth weekly gain and less than 1 percent away from 20,000, a level it has never breached.The Federal Reserve, which raised interest rates for the second time in nearly a decade on Wednesday, sees a faster pace of rate hikes in 2017, partly due to the potential economic benefits from President-elect Donald Trump's policies.U.S. stocks have been on a tear since the Nov. 8 presidential election, with the S&P rising 5.7 percent on bets that Trump's plans to deregulate sectors and increase infrastructure spending will boost the economy."We're at a point where there's not much to factor in," said Mohannad Aama, managing director at Beam Capital Management in New York. "You had the Trump rally, and then you had the anticipation about what the Fed was going to say. For the next two weeks, we have somewhat of an aimless market, where people are getting ready to close the books for the year."
However, there are some concerns that the "Trump rally" may have gone too far too soon and that valuations are stretched. The S&P 500 is trading at 17.9 times forward 12-month earnings, above the 10-year median of 14.7 times, according to StarMine data.At 12:34 p.m. ET (1734 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial average was up 12.23 points, or 0.06 percent, at 19,864.47. The S&P 500 was down 1.19 points, or 0.05 percent, at 2,260.84.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 5.88 points, or 0.11 percent, at 5,450.98.Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the utility index's 1.37 percent rise leading the gainers.The technology sector fell 0.66 percent, weighed down by Oracle and Intel, which fell 1.5 percent fall.
Oracle dropped 4.2 percent to $36.59 after the business software maker's adjusted revenue missed analysts' estimates. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P.Chipotle Mexican Grill rose 1.9 percent to $389.83 after the company, under pressure from activist investor Bill Ackman, appointed four more members to its board.Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,856 to 1,026. On the Nasdaq, 1,640 issues rose and 1,113 fell.The S&P 500 index showed 21 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 143 new highs and 24 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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Updated Date: Dec 17, 2016 00:15:07 IST