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Stocks - Tech Stops Wreck on Wall Street as Fed Reportedly Mulls Rate-Hike Pause

Investing.com - The Dow closed well above its lows Thursday, paring most of its losses after The Wall Street Journal reported the Fed could put the brakes on rate hikes, while a rebound in beaten-down tech stocks also lifted sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.32%, recovering from session lows of 24,242 to 24,947.67. The S&P 500 fell 0.15%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.42%.

The Wall Street Journal reported the Federal Reserve is mulling over whether to adopt a wait-and-see approach to rate hikes at its upcoming meeting next month.

The report appeared to ease investor fears that the Federal Reserve may overshoot on policy tightening.

Energy recouped losses as U.S. oil prices moved off lows after the Energy Information Administration's weekly petroleum data showed domestic crude supplies fell sharply. But U.S. production, which remained at record highs, staved off a more meaningful recovery.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) fell 1.3%, Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) fell 6% and Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) fell 3.6%.

Stocks got off to dour start early Thursday after the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada, reportedly at the behest of U.S. officials, raised fears that the fragile trade war ceasefire between the United States and China may collapse.

After a steep dive, S&P 500 Industrials, home to trade bellwethers like Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), clawed back their losses to end the day down about 0.6%.

Elsewhere, bank stocks, which have come under pressure from an ongoing slump in U.S. government bond yields, were thrown into further turmoil after Citigroup (NYSE:C) hinted at a profit warning on Wednesday.

Citigroup CFO John Gerspach said Wednesday the bank expects market revenue in the current quarter to be slightly lower than last year, sending the stock more than 3.5% lower.

Weakness in shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), meanwhile, kept a lid on gains in broader tech sector after smartphone camera lens supplier Largan (TW:3008) reported a 29% slump in its sales for November from a year earlier, pointing to weakness in smartphone demand.

Among other FANG stocks, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) rose 1% shrugging off a Stifel downgrade to hold from buy on worries that potential political and regulatory blowback may lead to restrictions on how the social media giant operates over time.

Sentiment on stocks were given a further boost after the U.S. Congress passed a measure to keep the government funded for two more weeks, averting Friday’s shutdown deadline, allowing lawmakers more time to reach a consensus on spending and Trump's demand for $5 billion to fund his proposed border wall.

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

Weyerhaeuser (NYSE:WY), Hewlett Packard Enteprises (NYSE:HPE) and Kimco Realty (NYSE:KIM) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:SIVB), TechnipFMC (NYSE:FTI) and Cimarex Energy (NYSE:XEC) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

-- Reuters contributed to this report.

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