US STOCKS-S&P, Nasdaq set to snap two-day losing streak

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
US STOCKS-S&P, Nasdaq set to snap two-day losing streak
Credit: © Reuters.

* 178,000 jobs added in November vs. est. 175,000

* Banks weigh on S&P while tech stocks boost

* Pandora jumps on CNBC report of sale to Sirius

* Dow down 0.1 pct, S&P up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.18 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Dec 2 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose for the first time in three days, supported by gains in technology and health stocks, but Dow slipped after a rally in bank stocks paused.

Major Wall Street indexes have hit a series of record highs over the past three weeks, sparked by Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election as investors bet that his policies would be market friendly.

The rally was led by bank and industrial sectors, which are likely to benefit from simpler regulations and higher fiscal spending.

The S&P 500 financial index .SPSY has risen 13 percent since the Nov. 8 vote, while industrials .SPLRCI rose 7.5 percent.

In contrast, defensive sectors such as utilities and consumer staples as well as technology stocks have struggled. Health stocks, which surged in the days following the vote, have since shed most of their gains.

However, the S&P 500 technology .SPLRCT and healthcare .SPXHC sectors saw a change in fortunes on Friday, giving the broader index its biggest boost.

Financials fell 1.14 percent, the biggest losers, while industrials were flat.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) GS.N fell for the first time in four days, weighing the most on the Dow, while Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) BAC.N , Citigroup (NYSE: C ) C.N and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) WFC.N were the top drags on the S&P.

"The move in financials is nothing more than people taking some profits after a strong run," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

At 12:30 a.m. ET the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 19.94 points, or 0.1 percent, at 19,171.99.

The S&P 500 .SPX was up 2.22 points, or 0.1 percent, at 2,193.3 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 9.55 points, or 0.18 percent, at 5,260.66.

Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, led by gains in real estate .SPLRCR and utilities .SPLRCU .

A report from the U.S. Labor Department showed that employers in private and public sectors hired more people last month than economists had expected, adding to the prospects of an interest rate hike when the Federal Reserve meets in the coming weeks.

But, investors reaction to Friday's jobs report was muted as markets appeared to have already priced in a hike this month. Street believes that the Fed is going to raise interest rates in December regardless of Friday's jobs data, given the sustained growth in the labor market, said Mark Cabana, head of U.S. short rates strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York.

Starbucks SBUX.O fell 2.4 percent to $57.11 after the coffee chain operator said Howard Schultz would step down as chief executive officer. P.N surged more than 10 percent after CNBC reported the internet radio company was in talks to sell itself to Sirius XM SIRI.O . issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,683 to 1,182. On the Nasdaq, 1,495 issues rose and 1,211 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 13 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 63 new highs and 40 new lows.

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