ALSO READEnergy stocks helps Wall Street rein in losses; consumer shares weigh Energy stocks help Wall Street rein in losses; consumer shares weigh Wall Street flat; rise in tech stocks offsets energy lag Wall Street ends down as energy, retail shares fall Wall Street pulled lower by GE, energy shares
By Noel Randewich
(Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes edged higher on Wednesday, with Microsoft and other technology stocks making modest gains and helping offset losses in energy shares after oil prices dropped more than 2 percent.
Investors are evaluating the details of the new tax code as U.S. Senate Republicans attempt to reconcile their version of the bill with that of the House of Representatives.
"It's hard to speculate on what the final bill is going to say. I think the market moves a little bit on that, but mostly moves on fundamentals and sentiment, which are strong," said Sean O'Hara, director at Pacer Financial Inc.
The bill passed on Saturday by Republican senators included a last-minute change to retain the corporate alternative minimum tax, or AMT, which had initially been removed.
Including the AMT could negate parts of the bill seen as beneficial to tech companies and other corporations.
Oil prices hit two-year lows after a surprise rise in U.S. inventories of refined products suggested demand may be flagging.
"Energy has had a mini-surge over the past month or so, and so I think this inventory build is being viewed as an opportunity to take some profits," said Mike Baele, managing director at U.S. Bank Private Client Wealth Management in Portland, Oregon.
At 2:37 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 0.09 percent at 24,203.25 points, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> had gained 0.16 percent to 2,633.91.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 0.31 percent to 6,782.90.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.28-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.47-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.
(Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)