* 153,000 jobs added in private sector vs est. 170,000 in
* Department stores drop on Macy's, Kohl's forecast cut
* Alexion biggest gainer on S&P following investigation
* Dow down 0.03 pct, S&P down 0.05 pct, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct
(Updates to open)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Jan 5 U.S. stocks were little changed on
Thursday as a drop in banks and discretionary stocks were offset
by gains in technology names.
Investors are also assessing a host of economic data
including the ADP payrolls report, which showed that 153,000
jobs were added in the private sector in December compared with
economists' expectation of 170,000.
The report sets a precedent to Friday's nonfarm payrolls
data, which includes hiring in both private and public sectors.
"Overall it looks like investors will be in a wait-and-see
mode ahead of the Labor Department report tomorrow," said Aaron
Clark, portfolio manager at GW&K Investment Management.
U.S. stocks rallied for nearly two months since Donald
Trump's victory in the presidential election in November, taking
the Dow tantalizingly close to the historic 20,000 mark.
However, some analysts warned the market was poised for a
"There is a growing gap between expectations for stimulus
measures versus what likely will be the reality, so we might get
some buyer's remorse when the market realizes that all these
changes will not happen as quickly as they expect," Clark said.
Almost every Federal Reserve policymaker said Trump's
promises of tax cuts and infrastructure spending could stoke
higher inflation and require faster interest rate hikes, the
minutes of the central bank's December meeting showed on
At 9:41 a.m. ET (1441 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 6.02 points, or 0.03 percent, at 19,936.14, the
S&P 500 was down 1.27 points, or 0.05 percent, at
2,269.48 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 10.87
points, or 0.2 percent, at 5,487.87.
Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with
financials and consumer discretionary weighing
the most on the broader index.
Department stores Macy's dropped 13.5 percent and
Kohl's nearly 18 percent - chiefly responsible for the
decline in discretionary stocks - after the companies cut their
profit forecasts. Nordstrom and J.C. Penney lost
about 8 percent each.
Alexion Pharma was the biggest percentage gainer on
the S&P, was up 8.2 percent at $137.54 after the drugmaker said
it did not see a need to restate its previously issued results,
following an investigation related to sales practices of its
blood disorder drug Soliris.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,339
to 1,310. On the Nasdaq, 1,150 issues fell and 1,112 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed six new 52-week highs and no new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 35 new highs and two new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by