19 de noviembre de 2015 / 18:03 / hace 2 años

US STOCKS-Wall St flat as healthcare losses offset tech gains

* UnitedHealth falls after results; biggest drag on Dow

* Keurig Green Mountain, Salesforce up on results

* Square soars in market debut on NYSE

* Jobless claims last week fall

* Dow down 0.1 pct, S&P down 0.17 pct, Nasdaq up 0.06 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Abhiram Nandakumar

Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.S. indexes wobbled on Thursday as healthcare stocks snapped a three-day rally after UnitedHealth cut its profit forecast, offsetting gains in technology stocks.

UnitedHealth fell 4 percent to $112.49, making the health insurer the biggest drag on the Dow. The company’s profit warning sent shares of peers Anthem and Aetna down more than 6 percent.

The S&P healthcare sector was the worst performer among the 10 major S&P sectors, with a 1.66 percent decline. UnitedHealth and Pfizer weighed the most.

Pfizer was down 3.5 percent after reports that the company’s talks to buy Allergan and redomicile in Ireland were in final stages. Allergan was down 2.8 percent.

Data on Thursday appeared to support the Federal Reserve’s view of a strengthening labor market ahead of its meeting next month. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week.

Minutes from the Fed’s October meeting, released on Wednesday, hardened expectations of a December interest rate hike and hinted at a cautious approach after that.

U.S. interest rates futures implied a 72 percent chance of a liftoff next month, up from 64 percent on Tuesday.

“The market read through the minutes and saw this as a ‘won and done’ situation,” said Kevin Kelly, CIO of Recon Capital Partners in New York, adding that investors were not expecting the Fed to raise rates sequentially.

At 12:28 p.m. ET (1728 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was down 17.14 points, or 0.1 percent, at 17,720.02, the S&P 500 was down 3.51 points, or 0.17 percent, at 2,080.07 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 3.28 points, or 0.06 percent, at 5,078.48.

Apple’s 1.8 percent rise led the tech sector’s 0.73 percent gain.

Chevron fell 1.5 percent and Exxon 0.6 percent as crude prices reversed course from earlier gains, weighed down by oversupply concerns.

Mobile payments company Square soared 64 percent to $14.78 in its highly anticipated market debut, while Tinder-owner Match Group’s shares popped nearly 17 percent on their first trading day.

Salesforce was up 5.6 percent at $81.70 after its quarterly adjusted profit beat estimates and the online sales software maker raised full-year revenue forecast.

Keurig Green Mountain jumped 22.7 percent to $49.69 after its quarterly results beat estimates.

Skechers rose 3.9 percent to $28.94 after the company said it won a favorable ruling in a lawsuit against Nike’s subsidiary, Converse. Nike was nearly flat at $126.03.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,557 to 1,397. On Nasdaq, 1,518 issues fell and 1,160 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 23 new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 54 new highs and 72 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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