* April jobs data "non-event" for the market-analyst
* IBM tumbles after Buffett cuts stake by a third
* Energy sector up as oil prices recover
* Dow down 0.14 pct, S&P up 0.04 pct, Nasdaq up 0.01 pct
(Updates to early afternoon)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
May 5 U.S. stocks were little changed on Friday
as a rebound in energy companies due to higher oil prices was
offset by healthcare stocks and a sharp drop in IBM.
The technology giant's shares fell 2.3 percent to a
six-month low of $155.46 after Warren Buffett said he sold
nearly a third of his stake in the company.
The stock was the biggest drag on the blue-chip Dow index as
well as the benchmark S&P 500 index.
A Labor Department report showed 211,000 jobs were added in
April, accelerating sharply from March and pointing to
tightening in the labor market.
But, the robust data did little to move the needle, also as
it came two days after the Federal Reserve downplayed weak
first-quarter economic growth and emphasized the strength of the
labor market, in a sign it could hike rates in June.
"There weren't any major surprises in the jobs number that
came in slightly better than expected. So all-in-all I believe
the data was a non-event for the market," said Andre Bakhos,
managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New
About 80 percent of the S&P 500 companies having handed in
their first-quarter reports, with about 75 percent of them
topping profit estimates.
Still, the S&P 500 and the Dow have not moved more than 0.2
percent in either direction in the past eight sessions.
"This lackluster behavior is occurring when the market is a
stone's throw away from all-time highs, so it is either going to
break out and make new highs or will go into a short corrective
phase. Until then, it is a waiting game," Bakhos said.
At 12:37 p.m. ET (1637 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was down 29.03 points, or 0.14 percent, at
20,922.44, the S&P 500 was up 0.86 points, or 0.04
percent, at 2,390.38 and the Nasdaq Composite was up
0.35 points, or 0.01 percent, at 6,075.69.
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher.
The energy sector's 0.9 percent gain gave the
biggest boost to the broader index as oil prices rose more than
1 percent after slumping on Thursday.
The healthcare index was off 0.4 percent, leading
the decliners. It had gained 0.6 percent on Thursday when the
U.S. House of Representatives passed a healthcare overhaul bill.
Cognizant rose 3.7 percent to $62.95 after the IT
services provider's profit beat estimates.
Fluor fell 6 percent to $47.60 and was the biggest
decliner on the S&P after the engineering and construction
company's profit missed estimates.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,749
to 1,047. On the Nasdaq, 1,481 issues fell and 1,263 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 45 new 52-week highs and no new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 95 new highs and 54 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by