the big reads
Wall Street edges up as tech snaps skid
US stocks have eked out a slight gain, with advances in some major technology stocks offsetting losses in energy and helping keep major indexes just above the unchanged mark.
The S&P technology index was up 0.2 per cent for Wednesday and managed to snap a five-session losing streak, its longest since April.
The sector was buoyed by gains in Facebook, up 0.9 per cent, and Microsoft, up 0.4 per cent.'Peace Diamond' fetches $9.1 million
"Tech is very elevated," said Stephen Massocca at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.
"Tech has been down a little bit but if you look at the heart of the beast, the juicy stuff, it hasn't really gotten hurt."
Trading volumes remained muted in the holiday-shortened week between Christmas and New Year. Volume on Tuesday was the thinnest of the year for a full session.This company want to pay someone £28,000 a year to masturbate
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 28.09 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 24,774.3 for Wednesday, the S&P 500 gained 2.12 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 2,682.62 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3.09 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 6,939.34.
Oil prices dipped after hitting a near two-and-a-half-year high in the previous session, pushing down the S&P energy index by 0.3 per cent.
ConocoPhillips, off 1.1 per cent, and Chevron down 0.3 per cent, were the biggest drags on the index.Indonesia could outlaw extramarital sex
Housing stocks edged up 0.1 per cent after data showed contracts to buy previously owned homes edged higher in November, the latest signal the housing market may have regained some momentum.
Tesla shares fell 1.8 per cent after brokerage KeyBanc lowered its estimate for Model 3 deliveries to roughly 5,000 units from 15,000 units for the fourth quarter.
Shares of wireless-charging technology developer Energous Corp surged 168.1 per cent to $23.70 after it got certification for its wireless charging transmitter.Hard knock life for London rough sleepers
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.23-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.04-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 29 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 86 new highs and 18 new lows.
Volume on US exchanges was 4.36 billion shares, compared to the 6.79 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.Science finds pigeons not so bird-brained