Tech stocks rise in choppy Wall Street trading




Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York  

By Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman

(Reuters) - Wall Street treaded water in choppy morning trading on Wednesday with gains in technology stocks offsetting losses in financial shares.

Shares of Microsoft (MSFT.O), Facebook (FB.O) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL.O) rose about 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.

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.

"Investors are still positive on tech, however it comes down to questioning of valuations and rotation at the year end," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

"We could have a volatile day given the early weakness and the fact that there are still uncertainties coming out of the (tax overhaul) reconciliation."

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 9:45 a.m. ET (1345 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was up 29.65 points, or 0.12 percent, at 24,210.29 and the S&P 500 (.SPX) was up 1.02 points, or 0.04 percent, at 2,630.59.

The Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was up 7.90 points, or 0.12 percent, at 6,770.11.

Shares of JPMorgan (JPM.N), Bank of America (BAC.N) and Citigroup (C.N) fell about 1 percent and were the biggest drag on the S&P 500.

Shares of Home Depot (HD.N) lost about 2 percent after the home improvement chain announced a $15 billion share repurchase plan.

American Eagle Outfitters' (AEO.N) shares rose 3 percent after the apparel maker forecast strong earnings for the holiday season and delivered third-quarter comparable sales ahead of Wall Street targets.

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

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,484 to 929. On the Nasdaq, 1,384 issues fell and 806 advanced.


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

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