Wall Street flat as investors digest rally, earnings reports

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U.S. stocks were little changed in a narrow trading range on Thursday, pausing after a record-setting run as investors mulled over a mixed bag of earning reports and upbeat economic data.

Intel (INTC.O) shares were down 4.2 percent at $34.19 after it reported slowing revenue growth at its key data center business.

The stock was the biggest drag on the three major indexes.

But fellow chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM.O) was the biggest positive influence on the S&P and Nasdaq, rising 7.9 percent after its quarterly results and forecast topped market estimates.

Biogen (BIIB.O) was up 5.8 percent at $277.80 after strong results. The stock led the health sector .SPXHC 0.4 percent higher, making it the biggest gainer among the 10 major S&P sectors.

Economic data was upbeat. A report showed U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly fell to a three-month low last week, while home resales unexpectedly rose in June to their fastest pace in more than nine years.

The S&P is up more than 6 percent for the year, while the Dow’s nine-day winning streak is its best run since March 2013.

But the rally has been driven by defensive sectors such as telecoms and utilities amid concerns about global instability including Britain’s recent vote to leave the European Union.

“The recent rally has been more shallow and has been confined to a few sectors,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.

“Any pullback was to be expected given that the Dow rallied for nine straight days and you have to see today’s action in that context. The broader macro context hasn’t changed.”

At 11:04 a.m. ET (1504 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 15.51 points, or 0.08 percent, at 18,579.52.

The S&P 500 .SPX was flat at 2,173.12. The index had earlier come within a point of its previous record.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 3.66 points, or 0.07 percent, at 5,093.59.

Half the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were lower. However, all sectors were moving within a narrow range of losses of 0.3 percent to gains of 0.4 percent.

Mining equipment maker Joy Global (JOY.N) jumped 17.6 percent after agreeing to be acquired by Japan’s Komatsu (6301.T) for $3.7 billion. Caterpillar (CAT.N) was up nearly 2 percent.

AT&T (T.N), Chipotle (CMG.N), Visa (V.N) and Starbucks SBUX.N among others are scheduled to report after the bell.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,749 to 1,087. On the Nasdaq, 1,415 issues rose and 1,178 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 20 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 60 new highs and 11 new lows.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Savio D’Souza)


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