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* Eli Lilly falls after cutting annual profit view
* Eyes on nonfarm payrolls report on Friday
* Indexes: Dow off 0.16%, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.29%
Aug 4 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 index was flat on Thursday as
losses in Apple and energy firms dampened the bullish sentiment
that had fueled a rally in the previous session, with investors
awaiting monthly jobs data for cues on the path of future
interest rate hikes.
Apple weighed the most on the benchmark index,
shedding 0.3%, a day after surging 3.8%. The energy sector
dipped 2.3%, tracking lower oil prices on fears of a
slowdown in demand.
After a dull start to August, Wall Street's main indexes
rallied on Wednesday as a slew of strong results from companies
including PayPal Inc and CVS Health added to an
upbeat sentiment about the second-quarter reporting season.
"We are in this honeymoon period where past earnings have
been good, including the ones just reported, and inflation looks
like it is moderating," said Christopher Grisanti, chief equity
strategist at MAI Capital Management.
"The battle right now is how serious concerns about
recession will become and so far the market seems less concerned
that there is a recession coming."
That view was echoed by a batch of data that showed services
activity unexpectedly rebounded in July and supply and price
pressures eased, while the U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply
in June as exports surged to a record high.
Focus is now on Friday's employment report, which is
expected to show nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 250,000
jobs last month, after rising by 372,000 jobs in June. The data
is crucial as the U.S. Federal Reserve attempts to cool labor
demand to tame inflation.
"If you get a somewhat weak number, the market will take
that as good news because the Fed's tightening is beginning to
work and maybe they will not have to do quite as much," Grisanti
The benchmark index has gained nearly 13.8% from its
mid-June lows, but is still in a bear market and down 13% for
the year on concerns around the fallout of the Ukraine war,
soaring inflation, COVID-19 flare-ups in China and an aggressive
rise in borrowing costs.
At 12:13 p.m. ET on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was down 52.68 points, or 0.16%, at 32,759.82,
the S&P 500 was up 1.40 points, or 0.03%, at 4,156.57,
and the Nasdaq Composite was up 36.65 points, or 0.29%,
Tesla Inc rose 0.3% ahead of an investor vote on a
variety of matters including a three-for-one stock split that
would make the company's shares more accessible.
Health insurer Cigna Corp gained 3.8% after raising
its annual profit forecast.
Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co slipped 3% as it cut
annual profit view for the second time.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.04-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a
1.26-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and 29 new lows,
while the Nasdaq recorded 39 new highs and 25 new lows.
(Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh and Devik Jain in Bengaluru;
Editing by Arun Koyyur and Aditya Soni)