* Financials up, utilities down on December rate hike view
* Facebook hits record high after strong results
* Indexes down: Dow 0.19 pct, S&P 0.28 pct, Nasdaq 0.53 pct (Updates to late afternoon)
By Lewis Krauskopf
Nov 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks slipped on Thursday, weighed down by energy and healthcare shares and a disappointing report from Qualcomm ahead of Friday’s U.S. jobs report.
Qualcomm was the biggest drag on the S&P 500, falling 16.7 percent after the chipmaker forecast first-quarter profit below expectations, while biotech Celgene fell 5.4 percent after its quarterly revenue missed targets.
Losses were limited by Facebook’s strong quarterly results which sent its shares to a record high, and a 0.4 percent rise in the financial sector. Facebook shares were up 5.1 percent at $109.25.
The declines paused a rally that took shape in October, the best monthly performance for major stock indexes in four years.
“Employment numbers are coming out tomorrow and that’s always a question mark,” said Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager at Hodges Capital Management in Dallas, Texas. “I still think there’s a lot of people that doubt the market and they’re still skittish and don’t believe the rally or think they ought to be in bonds.”
Investors will look to the payrolls report for clues about whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December, a possibility Fed Chair Janet Yellen alluded to on Wednesday.
At 2:34 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was down 34.04 points, or 0.19 percent, to 17,833.54, the S&P 500 had lost 5.91 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,096.4 and the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 27.16 points, or 0.53 percent, to 5,115.32.
Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower. The S&P energy sector fell 1.1 percent, with the utilities and materials groups also weak.
The S&P healthcare sector fell 0.5 percent, weighed down by Celgene’s results.
A U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday launched a probe into drug price increases, seeking documents from four drugmakers including Valeant Pharmaceuticals. U.S.-listed Valeant shares were down 14.3 percent to $78.81.
The probe hit the entire biotech group and the broader market as well, said Larry Peruzzi, a senior equity trader at Cabrera Capital Markets Inc in Boston.
Dow components JPMorgan and Visa were up 0.9 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
HomeAway surged 24.3 percent to $39.85 after Expedia said it would buy the vacation rental site for $3.9 billion. Expedia was up 3 percent at $138.24.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,659 to 1,367, for a 1.21-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,545 issues fell and 1,188 advanced for a 1.30-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 18 new 52-week highs and seven new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 84 new highs and 62 new lows. (Additional reporting by Sinead Carew and Caroline Valetkevitch in New York and Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza and James Dalgleish)