Tech stocks take Nasdaq closer to record

Carrie Underwood		
			Chris Pizzello  Invision

Shares of Apple rose 1 percent, while those of Amazon were up 0.8 percent and Microsoft 0.4 percent.

The latest data pointed to strength in the labour market, underscoring the health of the US economy despite ongoing trade tensions. Two other key United States indices, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, pulled back 0.7 percent.

The S&P 500 index slipped after coming within spitting distance of a record high following a four-day rise.

The S&P 500 plunged 20.30 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 2,833.28.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose just 1 point as DowDuPont outperformed. The S&P technology index fell 1 percent, with Intel down 2.8 percent after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to "sell".

The producer's price index remained unchanged in July, while economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 0.2 percent.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting that a strong economy was helping the labor market. Beijing announced Wednesday it would counter the most recent round of USA tariffs with its own.

The energy sector was the biggest loser, dragged down by Occidental Petroleum, the largest Permian producer, which boosted its capital expenditure.

The S&P 500 posted 26 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 97 new highs and 68 new lows.

Citigroup, the most global of the major USA banks, fell 2.3 percent. The Nasdaq gained 0.3 per cent for the week after strong gains in some technology shares.

Chip stocks fell after Morgan Stanley downgraded the US semiconductor industry saying upside to estimates is hard to come by. Micron (MU.O), Applied Materials (AMAT.O) and ON Semiconductor (ON.O) fell between 1.8 percent and 2.4 percent.

With the second-quarter earnings season winding down, 79 percent of S&P 500 companies have topped estimates.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.04-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.10-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

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