* Nasdaq trading hits lowest since Nov. 14
* Technology has worst day since Brexit
* Oil rally lifts energy names
* Dow up 0.36 pct, S&P down 0.35 pct, Nasdaq down 1.36 pct
(Updates to market close)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Dec 1 A sharp decline in technology
stocks pulled both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 indexes into the
red on Thursday, while the Dow managed to notch a record closing
high with a lift from bank and energy shares.
Declines in Facebook, off 2.8 percent at $115.14, and
Microsoft, down 1.8 percent to $59.18, sent the Nasdaq
to its lowest close since Nov. 14, while the S&P 500 technology
index dropped 2.3 percent, its worst daily performance
since June 24.
While the S&P 500 has gained more than 2 percent since the
November election on hopes that President-elect Donald Trump's
policies will trigger inflation and hasten a rise in interest
rates, technology stocks have failed to participate, dropping
nearly 3 percent.
"In a higher rate environment you are going to want to pay
less for growth further out. To a large extent that is probably
what is happening in the higher (price-to-earnings) stocks,"
said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt
Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
"Everybody is getting tarred and feathered."
The Dow advanced as gains in high-priced names in the
financial and energy sectors climbed. Goldman Sachs, up
3.3 percent, accounted for more than 50 points to the plus side
for the price-weighted index. The stock is up more than 24
percent since the election.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 68.35 points,
or 0.36 percent, to 19,191.93, the S&P 500 lost 7.73
points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,191.08 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 72.57 points, or 1.36 percent, to 5,251.11.
A continued rally in oil helped energy names such as Chevron
advance. Brent futures settled up more than 4
percent after a nearly 9 percent jump on Wednesday after major
oil producers agreed to cut output and support prices, the first
such move since 2008.
The S&P 500 energy index rose 0.3 percent, while the
S&P financial index climbed 1.7 percent, its best day in
Investors are turning now to Friday's U.S. payrolls report
for confirmation the economy continues to strengthen, with an
eye on an expected hike in benchmark U.S. interest rates by the
Federal Reserve at its meeting on Dec. 13-14.
Traders have priced in a 91 percent chance of a rate
increase in December, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Dollar General shares were among the worst performers
on the S&P, falling 5 percent after the discount retailer
reported a surprise drop in quarterly comparable sales and
tempered its full-year profit forecast.
Bluebird Bio soared 13.8 percent to $68.65 after
the gene-therapy developer said patients undergoing its multiple
myeloma treatment showed strong benefits. Shares of Celgene
, which is developing the therapy with Bluebird, edged
up 0.3 percent to $118.87.
Skechers surged 15.9 percent after the shoe seller's
chief executive bought $11 million worth of stock.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a
1.66-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.61-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 79 new 52-week highs and seven new lows;
the Nasdaq Composite recorded 178 new highs and 63 new lows.
About 9.13 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges,
above the 7.96 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by James Dalgleish)