(Updates prices, adds comment)
* Indexes: Dow up 0.15 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq off 0.35 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Sept 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed mid-session on Friday after Alibaba’s strong debut was offset by falling technology shares as Oracle and Yahoo stumbled.
The Dow and S&P 500 set fresh record highs in morning trading, supported by the Federal Reserve’s commitment earlier this week to keeping interest rates at rock-bottom levels.
“Continued M&A, Alibaba generating gains for investors, this isn’t enough reason for most investors to sell,” said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey
“The biggest risks to the market are geopolitical or a real sharp rise in rates,” he said. “The first one is hard to predict and the second doesn’t seem imminent; I guess investors will stay (invested in equities) for a while to come.”
Technology shares were weighing on the S&P 500 with Oracle down 4.8 percent at $39.57 after Larry Ellison, co-founder and leader for 37 years, stepped aside as chief executive. He will be replaced by co-CEOs Safra Catz and Mark Hurd, raising questions about a job-sharing arrangement that has had mixed records elsewhere.
Alibaba priced its initial public offering at $68 a share and opened up 36 percent at $97.20. Shares of Yahoo , which is selling part of its Alibaba stake but will remain a top shareholder, were volatile in heavy volume and recently traded down 3.6 percent at $40.56.
The Dow Jones industrial average was rising 25.21 points, or 0.15 percent, to 17,291.2, the S&P 500 was losing 0.4 points, or 0.02 percent, to 2,010.96 and the Nasdaq Composite was dropping 15.91 points, or 0.35 percent, to 4,577.51.
The largest percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange was Alibaba while the largest percentage decliner was ITT Educational Services, down 35.95 percent.
Dresser-Rand was rising 10.3 percent to $80.53 after a report Germany’s Siemens plans to offer more than $6.1 billion, or $80 per share, for the U.S. compressor and turbine maker.
Among the most active stocks on the NYSE were Alibaba, Bank of America, down 0.41 percent to $16.97 and GE, up 0.31 percent to $26.29.
On the Nasdaq, Yahoo, down 2.4 percent to $41.06; Microsoft, up 0.2 percent to $46.77 and Apple, down 0.3 percent to $101.49 were among the most actively traded.
Declining issues were outnumbering advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,806 to 1,138, for a 1.59-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,705 issues were falling and 890 advancing for a 1.92-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 71 new 52-week highs and 6 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 70 new highs and 61 new lows. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe, Chizu Nomiyama, Nick Zieminski and Chris Reese)