More weakness in tech stocks pulls Wall Street mostly lower

<p><p>Stocks edged lower in afternoon trading on Wall Street Wednesday as technology companies slipped and weighed down major indexes again.</p></p><p><p>The S&amp;P 500 fell 0.2% as of 12:06 p.m. Eastern. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.9%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 90 points, or 0.3%, to 36,890 and pulled above the record high it set a day earlier.</p></p><p><p>Roughly 60% of stocks in the benchmark S&amp;P 500 made gains, but technology companies, because of their huge size, have a lot of sway in moving the index.</p></p><p><p>Tech companies led gains on Monday, but then pulled the broader market lower on Tuesday.</p></p><p><p>Microsoft fell 2.2% and software maker Adobe shed 4.2%.</p></p><p><p>U.S. crude oil prices rose 1.7% and drove solid gains for energy companies. Exxon Mobil rose 1.6%.</p></p><p><p>A mix of health care companies and makers of household goods also made gains.</p></p><p><p>AT&amp;T rose 3.8% after giving investors an encouraging update on subscriber growth.</p></p><p><p>Bond yields made gains. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.68% from 1.66%.</p></p><p><p>European markets were higher and Asian markets closed mostly lower overnight.</p></p><p><p>Investors are dealing with a busy first week of the new year with a wide range of economic data.</p></p><p><p>The latest latest reports on different sectors of the economy and the employment market come as Wall Street continues gauging the potential economic impact of rising inflation and the latest wave of COVID-19 cases.</p></p><p><p>Later Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will release the minutes from its latest policy meeting in December, possibly shedding more light on how the central bank will shift policy in the face of persistently rising inflation.</p></p><p><p>The Fed has already said it plans to speed up its withdrawal of bond purchases, which have helped keep interest rates low.</p></p><p><p>Investors are looking for any signals on when it will eventually raise its benchmark interest rate.</p></p><p><p>On Thursday, the Institute for Supply Management will release its service sector index for December, giving Wall Street a better picture of how the economy’s largest sector is handling the latest surge of COVID-19 cases from the highly contagious omicron variant.</p></p><p><p>On Friday, the Labor Department will release its monthly employment report for December.</p></p>