Tech stocks weigh on Wall Street, energy stocks help cut losses

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, March 7, 2018. — Reuters pic
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, March 7, 2018. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Sept 12 — The benchmark S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were flat today, as gains in energy companies helped offset a slide in technology stocks, which weighed on the Nasdaq.

Shares of Apple, Twitter, Alphabet and fell between 0.8 and 2.8 per cent after executives at these companies, among others, were asked to testify about consumer data privacy before a US Senate panel on September 26.

Apple weighed the most on the three major indexes. The stock was trading higher premarket ahead of an event at 1pm ET (1700 GMT) where the company is expected to launch three new iPhone models.

The S&P technology sector slid 0.88 per cent, the most among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors. The energy sector jumped 0.76 per cent as oil prices hovered near US$80 (RM332) per barrel on growing concerns over global supply.

Chevron was up 1.6 per cent, also helped by HSBC’s upgrade for the stock and Exxon Mobil Corp rose 0.7 per cent.

At 10.08am ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 33.54 points, or 0.13 per cent, at 26,004.60, the S&P 500 was down 1.57 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 2,886.32 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 46.01 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 7,926.47.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor index was down 2.51 per cent after companies related to memory chips came under pressure after Goldman Sachs warned of lower prices for such chips due to an oversupply of DRAM and NAND chips.

Micron fell 5 per cent, the most on the S&P, after Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the stock. Chip equipment makers slid, led by a 5.3 per cent drop in ASML Holding and a 4.3 per cent drop in Entegris.

Gilead Sciences rose 3 per cent, the most on the S&P, after its rheumatoid arthritis drug, being developed jointly with Galapagos NV, met the main goal of a study.

Nielsen was up 3.9 per cent after the TV ratings provider said it will expand a review of strategic options to include a sale of the entire TV ratings company.

The Federal Reserve’s “Beige Book”, a summary of the state of US businesses across the central bank’s 12 regional districts for the month of August, is expected at 2 pm ET (1800 GMT).

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.18-to-1 ratio on the NYSE, but declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.44-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 21 new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 46 new highs and 43 new lows. — Reuters