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US stocks end weak, Tesla falls

Caroline Valetkevitch

The S&P 500 and Dow have ended slightly lower as gains in Apple and Amazon were offset by losses in energy and financial shares.

Tesla shares also fell to a two-day low and wiped out all of the gains fuelled by Chief Executive Elon Musk's recent tweet announcing a plan to take the company private. The stock ended down 4.8 per cent.

The S&P 500 was in slightly positive territory most of the day, putting it once again close to the January 26 record high. The Nasdaq also neared its all-time high.

The technology sector has been at the centre of a sharp recovery in US stocks since a market rout in February.

Shares of Apple rose 0.8 per cent, while those of Amazon were up 0.6 per cent.

"It's hard pressed for this market to really leap ahead. It's been a slow, steady climb, led by an increasingly smaller number of companies," said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.

"Somehow, technology seems a little more insulated" to concerns facing some companies, including trade war tensions, Meckler added.

Leading sector declines was the S&P energy index, which fell 0.9 per cent, while the S&P financial index was down 0.6 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 74.52 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 25,509.23, the S&P 500 lost 4.12 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 2,853.58 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3.46 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 7,891.78.

Chip stocks fell after Morgan Stanley downgraded the US semiconductor industry.

The latest data pointed to strength in the labour market, underscoring the health of the US economy despite ongoing trade tensions.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, a Labor Department report showed.