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Stocks close mixed as tech sector drags Nasdaq lower

CNBC logo CNBC 6/7/2018 Fred Imbert and Silvia Amaro

The Nasdaq composite pulled back from record levels Thursday as declines in Facebook and other major tech names weighed on the sector.

The tech-heavy index ended 0.7 percent lower as Facebook and Netflix fell more than 1.5 percent. Amazon and Alphabet also contributed to the Nasdaq's losses. The Nasdaq closed at a record high Wednesday.

Tech has risen sharply in recent weeks, with the sector gaining more than 5 percent over the past month.

The S&P 500 declined 0.07 percent, while the Dow gained 95 points.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose earlier in the session after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that the U.S. struck a deal with China's ZTE to end American sanctions against the company. Ross noted the deal includes a $1 billion penalty against ZTE and a U.S.-chosen compliance team to be embedded at ZTE.

"That's the big news of the day right there," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. "The tone in the market around the headwind that is trade is improving."

Thursday's decline comes after a strong day for Wall Street. On Wednesday, the Dow closed 346 points higher, supported by bank stocks that surged on higher interest rates amid expectations of an end to easy money in Europe. The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE) rose more than 2 percent Wednesday, marking its strongest gain since March 26.

Equities have rebounded nicely over the past month, with the major indexes rising at least 3 percent in that time period. Strong economic data, coupled with tech's sharp rise, have helped push stocks higher.

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett said he expects the economy to perform strongly for years to come. "Right now, there's no question: It's feeling strong. I mean, if we're in the sixth inning, we have our sluggers coming to bat right now," Buffett told CNBC's Becky Quick in an exclusive interview.

"I'm no good at predicting out two or three or five years from now, although I will say this: There's no question in my mind that America's going to be far ahead of where we are now 10, 20 and 30 years from now," he said.

In corporate news, McDonald's rose after the company announced a new batch of layoffs.


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