Wall Street hits a lull even as technology stocks gain


(Reuters) – Wall Street turned weary in late morning trading on Wednesday, with a slide in energy stocks and Home Depot offsetting gains in technology sector as investors readjust their stock holdings.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Shares of Microsoft (MSFT.O), Facebook (FB.O) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL.O) rose more than 1 percent.

The Nasdaq had slipped 1.6 percent in the past three days, its worst such fall in more than three months amid doubts over stretched valuations and the impact of a U.S. tax overhaul on corporate earnings.

“To the end of the year, investors tend to reposition, making sure their portfolio finishes the year where they wanted and begins the next year where they hope to be,” said Sean O‘Hara, director at Pacer Financial Inc.

Investors are evaluating the details of the new tax code as the Senate Republicans attempt to reconcile their version of the bill with that of the House of Representatives.

The bill passed on Saturday by Republican senators included a last-minute change to retain the corporate alternative minimum tax, or AMT, which had initially been removed.

Including the AMT could negate parts of the bill seen as beneficial to tech companies and other corporations.

At 10:56 a.m. ET (1556 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 0.12 percent to 24,209.73 and the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.11 percent to 2,632.53.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 0.17 percent at 6,773.39.

Home Depot (HD.N) slipped 1.5 percent after gaining about 36 percent this year, following the home improvement chain’s announcement of a $15 billion share repurchase plan.

The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and the Dow.

H&R Block (HRB.N) rose about 7 percent after the tax preparation service provider reported better-than-expected revenue.

Oil slipped more than 1 percent after a surprise rise in U.S. inventories of refined products that suggested demand may be flagging.

Newfield Exploration (NFX.N) fell 3.4 percent and Range Resources (RRC.N) slipped 2.7 percent, the biggest decliners on the S&P energy index .SPNY.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,430 to 1,272. On the Nasdaq, 1,530 issues fell and 1,179 advanced.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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