Wall Street mixed as investors eye healthcare

(Reuters) – Wall Street moved sideways on Friday as technology stocks dipped after a six-day rally and healthcare shares rose on expectations that U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech on drug prices would largely spare the industry.

Trader Michael Capolino shouts out a bid on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The tech sector .SPLRCT slid 0.5 percent lower, with Apple (AAPL.O) dropping 0.34 percent after a nine-day winning streak that saw the iPhone maker edge closer to $1 trillion in market capitalization.

Also weighing on tech was Nvidia (NVDA.O), which fell 1.4 percent as investors worried that a short-term surge in demand for graphics chips from cryptocurrency miners may be undermining its core business with computer gamers.

“Tech is giving back some of its gains. Market participants are not making aggressive bets after the week we’ve had, heading into the weekend,” said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at SunTrust Advisory Services in Atlanta. “We’re in a holding pattern today, digesting the strong gains of the week that we’ve seen.”

The Nasdaq biotech index .NBI rose 1.1 percent, while the S&P healthcare index .SPXHC rose 0.4 percent ahead of a speech by Trump about controlling prescription drug prices.

The president is expected to address high drug prices and barriers to negotiating lower prices for seniors in the Medicare program.

However, the policy proposals will have a relatively modest impact on the healthcare system, health industry sources briefed on the plans told Reuters.

At 2:53 pm ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 0.17 percent at 24,781.06 points, while the S&P 500 .SPX had gained 0.02 percent to 2,723.72.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 0.25 percent to 7,386.80.

The Dow edged above 100-day moving average for the first time since April 18, following the S&P’s similar move a day earlier, suggesting that the market may move higher.

Boosting the Dow was Verizon (VZ.N), which rose 3 percent after JPMorgan upgraded the wireless carrier to “overweight”, saying 5G opportunity will start to crystallize in the next few months.

Symantec (SYMC.O) slumped 32 percent after the Norton Antivirus maker said it was investigating concerns raised by a former employee.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.08-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.00-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 28 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 121 new highs and 45 new lows.

Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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