October 22, 2018 / 7:23 PM / 2 months ago

US STOCKS-Dow, S&P fall with energy, financials; tech boosts Nasdaq

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* Halliburton forecast hits energy stocks

* Financials drop, beaten-down tech stocks edge up

* Dow down 0.2 pct, S&P down 0.2 pct, Nasdaq up 0.6 pct (Updates to late afternoon)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Oct 22 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Dow slipped in choppy trading on Monday following losses in energy and financial stocks but gains in technology sectors helped limit losses and lifted the Nasdaq.

Energy stocks sank 1 percent, weighed down by lower crude oil prices and Halliburton’s warning that fourth-quarter earnings would miss estimates amid ongoing weakness in the North American hydraulic fracturing market.

Halliburton fell 2.8 percent and rival oilfield services provider Schlumberger was down 2.9 percent.

Alan Lancz president, Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc, an investment advisory firm, based in Toledo, Ohio, thinks the market will be more volatile and investors will lean toward being more cautious in the near term, especially if corporate results are weaker than expected.

“It’s going be a cautious situation. Revenues have been a little bit disappointing, and because of that you don’t have what we’ve had the past few earnings reporting cycles and that’s that enthusiasm. People are looking at the negatives and saying that it’s a situation where there are more headwinds,” he said.

The Dow swung between gains and losses of more than 100 points earlier in the session, highlighting the volatility in U.S. equities as they struggle to recover from a recent selloff even as the earnings season gathers steam.

Finiancial stocks fell 1.7 percent, with the U.S. Treasury yield curve flattened to its lowest level in more than two weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 50.53 points, or 0.2 percent, to 25,393.81, the S&P 500 lost 4.97 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,762.81 and the Nasdaq Composite added 41.99 points, or 0.56 percent, to 7,491.02.

Helping the Nasdaq and limiting losses on the S&P 500 were gains in technology stocks. The beaten-down technology index was up 1 percent.

Microsoft gained 1.4 percent and Intel, with help from a Nomura upgrade, jumped 3 percent at the start of a big week for technology earnings.

Amazon and Alphabet also rose. Both are due to report results later this week, while Facebook and Apple, reporting next week, gained about 1 percent.

While profits of S&P 500 companies are expected to have jumped nearly 22 percent in the third quarter, according to Refinitiv data, the outlook for future growth due to concerns over trade, rising costs and other factors.

Earlier in the session, a surge in China stocks and positive sentiment across Europe on Moody’s decision to keep Italy’s sovereign rating outlook stable helped to support stocks.

But the gains petered out, with analysts saying that news from neither China nor Italy was enough for the Wall Street to hold its levels. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.32-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.19-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 4 new 52-week highs and 49 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 17 new highs and 266 new lows. (Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Nick Zieminski)

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