Tech Shares Help Lift U.S. Stock ETFs As Energy Drags

U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds were slightly higher Wednesday as surging technology shares helped offset losses in the plunging energy sector.

The S&P 500 Index, along with related funds including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:IVV) and Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEARCA:VOO), were 0.3% higher Wednesday.

Technology company shares in the S&P 500 rose 1.1% as U.S. markets reopened after the Independence Day celebrations. The tech segment has come under pressure in recent weeks as traders trimmed holdings on concerns over lofty valuations in the high-flying sector this year.

Analysts, though, expect tech companies will continue to lead earnings growth in the S&P 500 for the second quarter as we head into earnings season, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“In a world of muted growth, tech stocks can still be attractive for delivering attractive rates of earnings growth … However, because of the positioning around tech, there is to be expected a period of consolidation,” Marcelle Daher, senior managing director, asset allocation at Manulife Asset Management, told Reuters.

Meanwhile, energy company shares in the S&P 500 declined 2.2% after an eight-session winning streak, their longest since 2010, as West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures plummeted 3.6% to $45.4 per barrel on rising OPEC exports and a strengthening U.S. dollar.