Wall St stays flat despite tech advances - New York Report

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Cautious investors at the start of a heavy week of earnings helped Wall Street stay flat yesterday, but advances in top tech names gave some support.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 14.57 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 17,230.54, the S&P 500 gained 0.55 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 2,033.66 and the Nasdaq Composite added 18.78 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 4,905.47.

The Dow and S&P 500 pared losses late in the session while the Nasdaq added to gains. Nike, up 2.1 per cent, helped the Dow.

The energy index fell 1.9 per cent as US crude oil fell 2.9 per cent. Copper fell after data showed a slowdown in China’s economic growth.

Exxon fell 1.8 per cent to $80.99 and Chevron dropped 1.4 per cent to $90.03, the biggest drags on the S&P 500 and the Dow.

“Energy and oil prices were down today, the industrials and materials sectors, so that took a little bit off the enthusiasm for equities,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.

“After such a significant rally, we’re back at a level where we anticipated we’d see a little pressure.”

Morgan Stanley’s shares fell 4.8 per cent to $32.32. The bank’s profit fell for the second straight quarter, capping mostly downbeat quarterly results from major US banks.

US homebuilder sentiment improved in October, with the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index rising more than expected.

Weight Watchers more than doubled in value to $13.92 after it said Oprah Winfrey will buy a 10 per cent stake in the company and join its board.