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US STOCKS-Wall St weighed down by falling tech stocks

·3 min read
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.) 

  * Discovery down after deal to merge with AT&T's media unit 

  * ViacomCBS rises after report Soros scooped up stock 

  * Indexes down: Dow 0.23%, S&P 0.42%, Nasdaq 0.83% (Adds details, comments; updates prices) 

  By Echo Wang 

  May 17 (Reuters) - Technology stocks pulled Wall Street's main indexes lower on Monday, with the Nasdaq Composite index falling about 1% as signs of growing inflationary pressures raised concern about monetary policy tightening. 

  Six of the 11 major S&P sectors declined, with technology shedding about 1.3%. Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp each fell more than 1%, weighing the most on the benchmark S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. 

  The S&P 500 scored its biggest one-day jump in more than a month on Friday as investors picked up beaten-down stocks following a pullback earlier in the week on worries about inflation and a sooner-than-expected tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve. 

  "What is causing the decline, no surprise to anybody, is the worry about inflation and interest rates," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York. 

  "As a result that's causing the growth group, in particular technology and consumer discretionary stocks, to experience weakness, while some of the more value-oriented groups are holding up a bit better." 

  At 2:53 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79.86 points, or 0.23%, to 34,302.27; the S&P 500 lost 17.38 points, or 0.42%, at 4,156.47; and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 112.05 points, or 0.83%, to 13,317.93. 

  Earnings this week will be scrutinized for clues on whether rising prices had any impact on consumer demand and if retailers can sustain their strong earnings momentum. 

  Walmart Inc, home improvement chain Home Depot Inc and department store operator Macy's Inc are set to report earnings on Tuesday, with Target Corp Ralph Lauren and TJX Cos due later in the week. 

  With the earnings season at its tail end, overall earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to have climbed 50.6% from a year ago, according to Refinitiv IBES, the strongest pace in 11 years. 

  AT&T Inc, owner of HBO and Warner Bros studios, and Discovery Inc, home to lifestyle TV networks such as HGTV and TLC, said on Monday they will combine their content assets to create a standalone global entertainment and media business. AT&T shares declined 0.4%, while Discovery fell about 4.7%. 

  Cryptocurrency-related stocks like Marathon Digital , Riot Blockchain and Coinbase fell between 6% and 10% as bitcoin swung in volatile trading after Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk tweeted about the carmaker's bitcoin holdings. 

  Among the most active stocks on the NYSE were AT&T, down 0.9% at $31.94; AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, up 7.2% at $13.92; and Ford Motor Co, up 1.9% at $12.07. 

  On the Nasdaq, the most active issues included Aerpio Pharmaceuticals Inc, up 37.1% at $1.59; Sundial Growers , up 4.5% at 74 cents; and Castor Maritime, up 10.9% at 44 cents. 

  Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.02-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.20-to-1 ratio favored decliners. 

  The S&P 500 posted 34 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 95 new highs and 49 new lows. (Reporting by Echo Wang in New York; Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Maju Samuel and Richard Chang)