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US: Wall St flat as banks, discretionary stocks fall

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[WASHINGTON] US stocks were little changed on Thursday as a drop in banks and discretionary stocks were offset by gains in technology names.

Investors are also assessing a host of economic data including the ADP payrolls report, which showed that 153,000 jobs were added in the private sector in December compared with economists' expectation of 170,000.

The report sets a precedent to Friday's nonfarm payrolls data, which includes hiring in both private and public sectors. "Overall it looks like investors will be in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the Labor Department report tomorrow," said Aaron Clark, portfolio manager at GW&K Investment Management.

At 9.41 am ET (1441 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 6.02 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 19,936.14, the S&P 500 was down 1.27 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 2,269.48 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 10.87 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 5,487.87.


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