Wall St ends lower, pulled down by tech stocks



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

* Indexes down: Dow 0.16%, S&P 0.25%, Nasdaq 0.38% (Updates with details after the close)

By Echo Wang

May 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street ended lower on Monday, weighed down by tech shares as signs of growing inflation worried investors about the potential for tighter monetary policy.

Of the 11 major S&P sectors that declined, technology .SPLRCT , utilities .SPLRCU and communication services .SPLRCL were the biggest losers, each down between 0.7% and 0.9%.

"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."

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.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 56.12 points, or 0.16%, to 34,326.01; the S&P 500 .SPX lost 10.42 points, or 0.25%, at 4,163.43; and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 50.93 points, or 0.38%, to 13,379.05.

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.

Cryptocurrency-related stocks like Marathon Digital MARA.O , Riot Blockchain RIOT.O and Coinbase COIN.O fell between 3% and 7% as bitcoin swung in volatile trading after Tesla Inc TSLA.O boss Elon Musk tweeted about the carmaker's bitcoin holdings.

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 T.N , owner of HBO and Warner Bros studios, and Discovery Inc DISCA.O , 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 2.69%, while Discovery fell about 5.04%.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 9.8 billion shares, compared with the 10.5 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

On the Nasdaq 100 the largest gainer was Trip.Com Group Ltd TCOM.OQ , which rose 3.8%, while the largest decliner was Comcast Corp CMCSA.OQ , down 5.5%.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.13-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.06-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 38 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 110 new highs and 63 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

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