* Nasdaq trading close to two-week low, weighed down by
* Technology index set for worst day since August
* Brent rises over 5 pct; Exxon and Chevron lead energy
* Dow up 0.39 pct, S&P down 0.11 pct, Nasdaq down 1.03 pct
(Updates to early afternoon)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Dec 1 Losses in technology stocks dragged down
the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 on Thursday, while gains in bank and
energy shares propped up the Dow.
Declines in Facebook, Microsoft and Apple
pushed the Nasdaq near 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 barely budged, posting a
mere 0.6 percent gain.
"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 5
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 2 percent, with shares
of Exxon and Chevron leading the pack.
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
Financial index rose 1.65 percent on Thursday. The
sector has risen more than 12 percent since the November
election on prospects of an interest rate hike this month and
simpler bank regulations.
Traders have currently priced in a 91 percent chance of a
rate increase in December, according to Thomson Reuters data.
At 12:19 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was
up 73.73 points, or 0.39 percent, at 19,197.31.
The S&P 500 was down 2.52 points, or 0.11 percent, at
2,196.29 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 54.84 points,
or 1.03 percent, at 5,268.84.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were trading lower, with
bond proxies such as utilities and real estate
among the big losers.
Shares of Dollar General was the biggest loser on the
S&P, falling 6 percent after the discount retailer reported a
surprise drop in quarterly comparable sales and tempered its
full-year profit forecast.
Bluebird Bio soared 16 percent to $70.25 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
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 1,627
to 1,305. On the Nasdaq, 1,516 issues fell and 1,205 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 78 new 52-week highs and six new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 148 new highs and 41 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by