November 15, 2017 / 8:28 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St falls as energy tracks oil lower; tech weighs

* Oil down for fourth straight day on demand concerns

* Target slumps after weak holiday-quarter forecast

* Dow down 0.41 pct, S&P 500 down 0.33 pct, Nasdaq down 0.24 pct (Updates prices, changes comment, byline)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday as energy sector shares dropped for a fourth straight session, tracking crude prices, while tech, the best performing sector this year, weighed the most on the S&P 500.

Oil prices fell for a fourth session after data showed an unexpected increase in crude and gasoline stockpiles. The S&P 500 energy sector was on track to post a four-day decline of close to 4 percent, its weakest such period in seven months.

“Oil coming off recent highs and as crude prices move so the big energy stocks,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

Exxon fell 1.0 percent to $81.40 and Schlumberger dropped 2.0 percent to $61.55 after touching $61.11, its lowest since January 2016.

Brent and U.S. crude both fell after touching last week their highest levels in almost 2-1/2 years.

The tech sector was the largest weight on the S&P 500, something Jankovskis attributed partly to their “very strong run this year, perhaps some people are taking profits.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 95.91 points, or 0.41 percent, to 23,313.56, the S&P 500 lost 8.41 points, or 0.33 percent, to 2,570.46 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 16.51 points, or 0.24 percent, to 6,721.37.

The CBOE Volatility index, a widely followed measure of market anxiety, hit a more than 2-month high at 14.51 and was last up 1.0 points at 12.55.

A rise in both inflation and retail sales sent a signal to the Federal Reserve, which had been concerned about a recent disinflationary trend, setting the U.S. central bank on a path to raise rates in December.

Among the few gainers were financial stocks, which rose on prospects of further rate hikes. The S&P 500 bank index added 0.69 percent.

High-yielding sectors like utilities and consumer staples, among the so-called bond proxies, were the largest decliners outside of energy.

Target shares tumbled 8.4 percent to $55.06 after it issued a disappointing profit forecast for the key holiday quarter.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.49-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.35-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 35 new 52-week highs and 19 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 41 new highs and 77 new lows. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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