How major US stock indexes fared Thursday

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

The S&P 500 was in slightly positive territory most of the day, putting it once again close to the record high it hit January 26.

"It's hard pressed for this market to really leap ahead".

A drop in technology shares added to the day's bearish tone.

The industrial index fell 0.3 percent as a drop in shares of trade-sensitive stocks such as Boeing and Caterpillar dragged. The Nasdaq gained 0.3 per cent for the week after strong gains in some technology shares.

Crude oil prices failed to make a decisive recovery on Thursday even though the USA sanctions against Iran went into effect on Thursday and the S&P 500 Energy Index closed the day 0.9% lower. Overall, S&P 500 earnings for the second quarter are up more than 24 percent versus the year-earlier period.

The latest tariffs will hit semiconductors from China, even though numerous basic chips in these products originate from the United States, Taiwan or South Korea.

The gains come as the latest data pointed to the strength in the labor market, underscoring the health of the economy despite ongoing trade tensions.

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S&P 500 futures have fallen 0.5%, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures have declined 105 points, or 0.4%.

Chip stocks fell after Morgan Stanley downgraded the USA semiconductor industry, saying upside to estimates is hard to come by.

Bookings Holdings fell 5.9 percent and weighed the most on the S&P and the Nasdaq after it forecast third-quarter profit below expectations.

About 5.9 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges.

Rite Aid fell 9.5 percent and was the most actively traded stock after the drug store chain and USA grocer Albertsons Cos agreed to terminate their merger agreement.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.12-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.47-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

"The Dow's positive momentum keeps fading according to technical readings in the daily chart, but by no means indicates an upcoming bearish continuation, as the index holds well above all of its moving averages, and with the 20 DMA maintaining its bullish stance".

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