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Overnight Markets: Tech stocks lift Nasdaq

Energy sector fell as oil prices slipped more than 2% after a surprise rise in US inventories of refined products.

 
Overnight Markets: Tech stocks lift Nasdaq

Wall Street was little changed on Wednesday as investors awaited more details on what the final tax overhaul from Congress will look like.

The Nasdaq composite rose 0.21% to close at 6,776. The S&P 500 closed around breakeven at 2,629. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 40 points to close at 24,141.

Tech stocks rose after Facebook shares gained nearly 2%. Microsoft added 1.5%.

Energy sector fell 1.3% as oil prices slipped more than 2% after a surprise rise in US inventories of refined products suggested demand may be flagging. Schlumberger, Exxon and Chevron fell between 0.4% and 2.3%, helping push the S&P 500 energy index down 1.2%.

Investors scrutinised Washington as they awaited new details on Congress negotiations to overhaul the US tax code. They also looked ahead to a potential government shutdown. If Congress fails to craft a deal on government spending by the end of the week, the federal government could close until a deal is struck.

In corporate news, drone maker AeroVironment shares hit an all-time high after the company posted strong quarterly sales.

Meanwhile, OSI Systems plunged nearly 30% after famed short seller Carson Block called the company "rotten to the core."

Home Depot slipped 0.9% after the home improvement retailer announced a $15 billion share repurchase plan. The stock was the biggest drag on the Dow.

H&R Block surged 9.2% after the tax preparation service provider reported better-than-expected revenue.

In Asia, shares were mixed on Thursday in morning session as major US indexes closed narrowly mixed as investors awaited tax reform developments.

Japan's Nikkei 225 bounced 1.27% after falling nearly 2% in the previous session. Across the Korean Strait, the benchmark Kospi index slipped 0.36%. Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.57%.

Greater China markets were mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.48%. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was 0.25% lower and the Shenzhen Composite edged down by 0.19%.

 

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