U.S. Stocks Little Changed as Energy, Bank Stocks Weigh

(Reuters) —
stocks, markets, Wall Street, U.S. stocks
(Reuters/Andrew Kelly)

U.S. stocks were little changed in trading early Tuesday afternoon, as a rise in technology stocks offset declines in energy and financial shares.

Oil prices fell over 1 percent on concerns that output cuts by the world’s big exporters may not be enough to drain a global glut that has depressed the market for almost three years.

The energy sector’s 0.94-percent fall led the decliners among the major S&P 500 sectors. Exxon was down 0.4 percent, while Chevron fell 0.2 percent.

Adding to the pressure, financial stocks were down 0.5 percent. JPMorgan fell 1.1 percent, weighing the most on the S&P, while Goldman Sachs’ 1.6-percent decline dragged on the Dow.

Data showed that the core PCE price index fell to 1.5 percent in the 12 months through April from 1.6 percent in March, reinforcing views that the Federal Reserve may not raise rates again after June.

“We’re in a period of time where the first-quarter data was slightly weak and people are wondering if the data was an anomaly or is there something more there,” said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist for Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management.

Dallas Fed head Robert Kaplan told CNBC that while he was concerned about the recent economic data, he expected two more rate hikes in 2017.

U.S. consumer spending recorded its biggest increase in four months in April, but the consumer confidence index fell to 117.9 in May from 119.4 in April.

At 12:37 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 27.47 points, or 0.13 percent, at 21,052.81, and the S&P 500 was down 1.21 points, or 0.050087 percent, at 2,414.61.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 2.61 points, or 0.04 percent, at 6,207.59.

The technology sector rose 0.3 percent. Apple’s 0.5-percent rise was the biggest boost on the S&P and Nasdaq.

Amazon was up 0.3 percent at $998.26, after briefly crossing the $1,000 mark. Alphabet’s Class A shares were close behind, after hitting a record of $997.62.

CardConnect’s shares jumped 10.3 percent to $15.05 after First Data agreed to buy the payment processor for $750 million. First Data was up 0.8 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,770 to 1,069. On the Nasdaq, 1,824 issues fell and 926 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 28 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 82 new highs and 70 new lows.

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