July 20, 2016 / 2:12 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Microsoft lifts Dow, S&P to records, before oil limits gains

* Oil falls about 1.5 pct ahead of inventory data

* Morgan Stanley up as profit tops expectations

* Microsoft provides biggest boost to the three indexes

* Disney drags on Dow, S&P after brokerage downgrade

* Indexes up: Dow 0.01 pct, S&P 0.08 pct, Nasdaq 0.43 pct (Updates to open)

By Tanya Agrawal and Anya George Tharakan

July 20 (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 were little changed on Wednesday, easing after hitting fresh intraday records, as the boost to tech stocks from Microsoft’s results was curbed by a drop in energy stock as oil prices fell.

Microsoft was up 4.9 percent at $55.72, making it the biggest boost to the three major indexes, after its results handily beat expectations.

The technology index rose 1.05 percent, leading the three gainers among the 10 major S&P sectors. But, the energy index was down 1.07 percent as oil prices fell 1.5 percent.

Crude oil futures hit 2-month lows on technical selling pressure and liquidation by investors fearing a supply glut despite impending government data likely to show a drawdown.

With the stock market on a record-setting rally, investors have been keeping a sharp eye on corporate earnings to see if they can help sustain the momentum.

“For the rally to sustain we are going to need to see continued improvement in the earnings and economic activity,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.

Cardillo said investors should be prudent at current stock levels, given the uncertainty following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and other ongoing geopolitical concerns.

At 9:46 a.m. ET (1346 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.16 points, or 0.01 percent, at 18,560.17.

The S&P 500 was up 1.73 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,165.51.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 21.88 points, or 0.43 percent, at 5,058.25.

Morgan Stanley was up 1.8 percent at $28.70 after its profit topped analysts’ estimates, rounding off upbeat results from the six biggest Wall Street banks.

Disney fell 2 percent to $97.47 after a Stifel rating downgrade. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P and the Dow.

Intuitive Surgical was up 6 percent at $713.41 after the medical device maker’s profit beat estimates.

Intel, eBay and American Express are scheduled to report results after the bell.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,489 to 1,122. On the Nasdaq, 1,195 issues rose and 1,073 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 24 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 35 new highs and seven new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal and Anya George Tharakan; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below