Tech stocks drive Nasdaq higher; Dow, S and P flat

Tech stocks drive Nasdaq higher; Dow, S and P flat

The Dow and the S&P 500 were little changed, while the Nasdaq was firmly higher, propped up by the high-flying technology trio of Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.

The S&P tech sector <.SPLRCT> was up 0.2 percent. Tech stocks have been at the center of a sharp recovery in the S&P since a market rout in February, driving the index close to its record high.

Shares of Apple <AAPL.O> rose 1 percent, while those of Amazon <AMZN.O> were up 0.5 percent and Microsoft <MSFT.O> 0.3 percent.

“The S&P has been climbing gradually amid geopolitical and trade concerns,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“Investor mindset has been predicated on a strong economy and a longer-term perspective, and that has been playing out very nicely.”

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting that a strong economy was helping the labor market counter ongoing trade tensions.

At 9:50 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was down 14.63 points, or 0.06 percent, at 25,569.12, the S&P 500 <.SPX> was unchanged at 2,857.70 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was up 11.39 points, or 0.14 percent, at 7,899.72.

Seven of the 11 main S&P sectors were higher. The materials sector <.SPLRCM> led the gains as aluminum prices rose.

Sinclair <SBGI.O> dropped 4 percent after Tribune Media <TRCO.N> ended its $3.9 billion deal to be acquired by Sinclair and filed suit. Tribune shares rose 2.2 percent.

Rite Aid <RAD.N> fell 10.9 percent after the drug store chain and U.S. grocer Albertsons Cos <ABS.N> agreed to terminate their merger agreement.

Chip stocks fell after Morgan Stanley downgraded the U.S. semiconductor industry saying upside to estimates is difficult to come by.

Lam Research <LCRX.O>, Micron <MU.O>, Applied Materials <AMAT.O> and ON Semiconductor <ON.O> fell between 1 percent and 4.7 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.68-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.58-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 20 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 44 new highs and 24 new lows.

(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

Published at Thu, 09 Aug 2018 07:31:54 -0700

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