* Energy continues recent slide, raising demand worries
* Genworth, Qualcomm both slump following results
* Whole Foods rallies in bright spot for market
* Indexes: S&P 500, Nasdaq down 0.2 pct, Dow flat (Updates to market open)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Nov 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged modestly lower from record levels on Thursday as energy shares continued their recent decline and weak results pressured the technology sector.
Trading was volatile, with major indexes briefly edging higher on comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who indicated support for additional measures to support the economy, if necessary. Equities subsequently turned lower as crude oil fell and companies extended their post-earnings decline.
The S&P Energy index lost 0.6 percent, dropping alongside a 1.5 percent drop in the price of crude oil. Crude prices have been pressured of late and are down about 30 percent from a recent closing high. Occidental Petroleum lost 1 percent to $85.60 on Thursday while Halliburton Co was off 1.6 percent to $51.51.
“The overall weakness in oil is coming on weaker demand, and that’s enough to raise concerns about economic growth, especially with buyers getting exhausted after a strong rally,” said Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at Phoenix Financial Services in New York.
Qualcomm Inc pressured the tech sector, slumping 9.7 percent to $69.73 a day after it said an antitrust investigation and problems collecting royalties could harm its business in China next year. It also disclosed new regulatory investigations in the United States and Europe and reported results. Orbitz Worldwide fell 8 percent to $7.80 following its results.
Draghi said the ECB’s governing council was unanimous in its commitment to using additional unconventional measures to support the economy.
While investors were encouraged that central banks would continue to support the market, there were also concerns that such measures were still necessary.
“The European economy is getting worse, but Draghi presented a united front and said we can expect more action if necessary,” said Michael O‘Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut. “He brought more clarity, but there’s still more to come out.”
Genworth Financial plummeted 36 percent to $8.97 in heavy trading, its biggest one-day drop since November 2008 during the financial crisis. The selloff came a day after it unexpectedly swung to a massive loss in its latest quarter. Tom McInerney, Genworth’s chief executive, said he was “very disappointed” by the results of its U.S. life insurance division.
Whole Foods Market Inc jumped 10 percent to $44.04 after its results beat expectations on Wednesday, boosted by gains in market share and new product launches. The stock was on track for its biggest one-day advance since May 2013.
At 10:36 a.m. (1536 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average rose 2.12 points, or 0.01 percent, to 17,486.65, the S&P 500 lost 3.2 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,020.37 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 9.90 points, or 0.21 percent, to 4,610.83.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,629 to 1,228, for a 1.33-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,335 issues fell and 1,097 advanced for a 1.22-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 46 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 59 new highs and 37 new lows. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)