* Nasdaq trading at two-week low, weighed down by Facebook
* Technology index set for worst day since August
* Oil prices rise more than 4 pct; Exxon and Chevron lead
* Dow up 0.36 pct, S&P down 0.12 pct, Nasdaq down 0.97 pct
(Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Dec 1 Losses in technology stocks dragged down
the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 in choppy trading on Thursday, while
bank and energy shares propped up the Dow.
Declines in Facebook, Microsoft and Apple
pushed the Nasdaq to a two-week low, while setting the
S&P 500 technology index for its worst day since
While Wall Street has rallied since the November election on
hopes that President-elect Donald Trump's policies would be
market friendly, technology stocks have gained the least, rising
by a mere 0.6 percent.
"I think what you are seeing is people moving out of names
that have been winners in the past couple of years and from
companies that have predictable growth such as Facebook,
Alphabet and Apple," said Michael Scanlon, managing director of
Manulife Asset Management.
Facebook fell 3.2 percent to $114.73 after Canaccord
Genuity cut its price target on the stock, while Microsoft
, Apple and Alphabet fell between 1.5
percent and 2.2 percent.
However, the Dow moved higher, powered by a more than 4
percent rise in oil prices and gains in bank stocks.
Brent futures hit a six-week high of $53.98. The
commodity rallied nearly 9 percent on Wednesday after major oil
producers agreed to cut output and support prices - the first of
such a move since 2008.
The S&P 500 energy index rose 1.55 percent, with
shares of Exxon and Chevron leading the gainers.
Investors are now turning their attention to economic data
to assess whether the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates
at its meeting on Dec. 13-14.
The central bank has been preparing the markets for a rate
increase amid improving economic conditions. Some Fed officials
have said President-elect Donald Trump's policies could boost
inflation, pushing it closer to the central bank's 2 percent
U.S. factory activity accelerated to a five-month high in
November amid a pickup in new orders and production, offering
more evidence that the economy gained momentum early in the
fourth quarter, a Institute for Supply Management report showed.
Financial index rose 1.5 percent on Thursday. The
sector has risen 12.3 percent since the November election on
prospects of an interest rate hike this month.
Traders have currently priced in a 90 percent chance of a
rate increase in December.
At 11:11 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was
up 68.01 points, or 0.36 percent, at 19,191.59.
The S&P 500 was down 2.58 points, or 0.12 percent, at
The Nasdaq Composite was down 51.45 points, or 0.97
percent, at 5,272.24.
Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were trading lower, with
bond proxies such as utilities and real estate
being the worst hit.
Bluebird Bio shares soared 23 percent to $75 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, was up
less than 1 percent.
Skechers surged 13.7 percent after Buckingham
Research upgraded the shoemaker's stock to "buy" from "neutral".
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,569
to 1,339. On the Nasdaq, 1,455 issues fell and 1,202 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 74 new 52-week highs and six new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 134 new highs and 34 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by