* Dow, S&P 500 inch up to fresh records
* Genworth and Qualcomm slump following results
* Whole Foods rallies in bright spot for market
* Indexes: Dow up 0.2 percent, S&P up 0.2 percent, Nasdaq flat (Updates to afternoon trading)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Nov 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged up in a volatile session on Thursday as an indication that Europe would step in with additional stimulus in the case of weak economic conditions boosted cyclical shares, though some lackluster tech results kept a lid on gains.
Major indexes fluctuated between positive and negative territory; the S&P 500 fell as much as 0.4 percent before rising as much as 0.2 percent, inching up to another record high.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi indicated support for additional measures to support the euro zone economy, if necessary, and said the ECB governing council was unanimous in its commitment to using additional unconventional measures to support the economy.
The market’s two biggest defensive sectors, telecom and utilities, were the weakest on the day, with both off about 1.3 percent. Cyclical groups, which are tied to the pace of economic growth, advanced. Industrial shares rose 1 percent as the strongest sector of the day.
“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, and it isn’t healthy to focus on hopes for stimulus instead of fundamentals.”
Qualcomm Inc pressured the tech sector, slumping 12 percent to $68.30 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 6.7 percent to $7.91 following its results.
Genworth Financial plummeted 36 percent to $9 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 11 percent to $44.23 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 12:39 p.m. (1739 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average rose 37.57 points, or 0.21 percent, to 17,522.1, the S&P 500 gained 1.72 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,025.29 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.21 points, or 0.03 percent, to 4,619.51. Both the Dow and S&P hit records at their session highs.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,530 to 1,418, for a 1.08-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,293 issues rose and 1,276 fell for a 1.01-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The benchmark S&P 500 index posted 66 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 82 new highs and 49 new lows. (Editing by Bernadette Baum and James Dalgleish)