Wall St little changed; oil drop weighs on energy shares

  • Markets
  • Wednesday, 27 Dec 2017

Traders work the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on December 20, 2017 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / Bryan R. Smith

NEW YORK: US stocks were little changed in morning trading on Wednesday, with gains in healthcare and technology stocks helping offset losses in energy shares.

Oil prices fell after hitting a near two-and-a-half year high in the previous session, pressuring the S&P energy index, which fell 0.1%.

ConocoPhillips dropped 1.2% and Chevron fell 0.3%.

Technology shares, including those of Facebook and Nvidia, gained ground on Wednesday. The sector was dragged down on Tuesday by losses in Apple’s shares following a report on tepid iPhone X demand.

Trading activity was muted in the holiday-shortened week between Christmas and New Year.

Commodity prices were in the spotlight after copper prices hit three-and-a-half-year highs after a rise in China’s imports in November.

“People are using copper and oil prices as a precursor to signal that the US economy is strengthening,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth in New York.

At 9:38am ET (1438 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 5.36 points, or 0.02%, at 24,751.57 and the S&P 500 was up 1.61 points, or 0.06%, at 2,682.11.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 4.69 points, or 0.07%, at 6,940.94.

Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer rose about half a percent each, lifting the S&P healthcare sector by 0.22%.

Tesla shares fell 0.75% after brokerage KeyBanc lowered it estimates for Model 3 deliveries to roughly 5,000 units from 15,000 units for the fourth quarter.

Shares of wireless-charging technology developer Energous Corp soared about 85% after it got certification for its wireless charging transmitter.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,341 to 1,137. On the Nasdaq, 1,345 issues rose and 953 fell. - Reuters
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