A trader works on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., March 7, 2022.
A trader works on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., March 7, 2022. Reuters / ANDREW KELLY

Wall Street's main indexes wobbled on Thursday as gains in high-growth stocks offset losses in energy shares, with investors looking ahead to monthly jobs report for clues on the pace of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq hovered near a three-month high that it hit in the previous session, led by Amazon.com Inc and Advanced Micro Devices, while losses in Apple Inc and energy stocks weighed on the S&P 500.

Worries about the global outlook sent oil prices to their lowest since before Russia's February invasion of Ukraine and U.S. bond yields slipped after the Bank of England warned of a long recession. [O/R]

"There is a continued battle between the bulls and the bears and whether this rally has more room to run," said Eric Schiffer, chief executive of private equity firm the Patriarch Organization in Los Angeles.

"It is likely that we will go into another downturn next year, but the question is how deep and that will depend on the Fed. The market at this point is leaning in the direction the Fed will go lighter and you're seeing stocks anticipate that."

As the Fed attempts to cool labor demand to tame inflation, focus is on Friday's employment report, which is expected to show nonfarm payrolls increased by 250,000 jobs last month, after rising by 372,000 jobs in June.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, a voting member of the rate-setting panel, reiterated the need to see several months of inflation coming back down toward the Fed's 2% target before policymakers feel they can let up on tightening monetary policy.

Economically sensitive stocks slipped, with the S&P 500 energy sector shedding 1.8%, while the banks index lost 1.4%.

The S&P 500 has gained nearly 13.8% from its mid-June lows, but is still down 13% for the year on concerns around the fallout of the Ukraine war, soaring inflation, COVID-19 flare-ups in China and an aggressive rise in interest rates.

At 02:06 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 69.78 points, or 0.21%, at 32,742.72, the S&P 500 was down 1.74 points, or 0.04%, at 4,153.43, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 33.56 points, or 0.26%, at 12,701.72.

Shares in crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc jumped 12.9% after it announced a tieup with BlackRock to provide its institutional clients access to crypto trading and custody services.

Tesla Inc rose 0.2% ahead of an investor vote on a variety of matters including a three-for-one stock split that would make the company's shares more accessible.

Health insurer Cigna Corp gained 3.6% after raising its annual profit forecast.

Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co slipped 3.2% as it cut annual profit view for the second time.

Facebook-parent Meta Platforms said it would make its first-ever bond offering. Its shares edged higher.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.01-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and 1.37-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded one new 52-week highs and 29 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 51 new highs and 28 new lows.