Wall Street headed for second straight weekly fall

FILE PHOTO: The Wall Street sign is pictured at the New York Stock exchange (NYSE) in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S.

By Medha Singh and Devik Jain

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 was largely flat in afternoon trading on Friday towards the end of another volatile week as investors weighed Oracle’s strong results against data that suggested a long and wobbly economic revival from a coronavirus-led downturn.

Oracle’s shares edged higher after hitting a record high earlier in the session as the cloud services company’s earnings beat estimates and it signaled a recovery in client spending due to higher remote working-led demand.

Trading in so-called “stay-at-home winners” — Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp and Netflix Inc — were mixed but the mega-caps were set to fall between 5% and 8% for the week, extending losses from last Friday that brought Wall Street’s rally to a screeching halt.

The S&P 500 was headed for the first back-to-back weekly decline since March as concerns about the massive build-up in call options tied to tech names exacerbated the selloff.

“We are seeing some rotation from the previous leaders into some of the laggards and it’s a potentially encouraging sign that we’re not just having a ‘sell everything’ moment like in March,” said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Industrials and financial stocks provided the biggest boost to the benchmark index. Material was the only S&P sector poised to end higher on the week.

“The upward trajectory is in play but it’s just going to be much more of a volatile give-and-take relationship and it might cause some investors some pain on those pullbacks,” Detrick said.

Many investors view the slump as a healthy consolidation after a stunning five-month rally in the S&P 500 that was powered by a narrow group of heavyweight tech names and scores of fiscal and monetary stimulus.

Meanwhile, latest data showed U.S. consumer prices increased solidly in August, but the labor market’s slack is likely to keep a lid on inflation as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 recession.

At 12:45 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 96.22 points, or 0.35%, at 27,630.80 and the S&P 500 was down 2.59 points, or 0.08%, at 3,336.60. The Nasdaq Composite was down 88.99 points, or 0.81%, at 10,830.60.

Exercise bike maker Peloton Interactive Inc climbed 1% as it reported forecast-beating quarterly revenue due to a surge in subscribers and increased demand for its fitness products during the pandemic.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.28-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.05-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded five new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 21 new highs and 20 new lows.

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Maju Samuel)