Stocks pare loss as tech gains

Stocks climbed from their lows heading into the close of trading, led by gains in tech shares. The S&P 500 remained in negative territory with persistent concern that the rate of global economic growth has peaked at the same time central banks scale back stimulus.

The S&P 500 slumped for a second day, though resilience in large technology stocks pulled the measure up from a loss that topped 2 percent. Netflix led gains among the FANG cohort, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google’s parent, Alphabet. Financial markets remained volatile on bets that the trade truce between China and the U.S. won’t last after the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer. Bank shares in the S&P 500 fell about 2.5 percent, as Treasury yields slid to the lowest since August. Traders have started to doubt the Federal Reserve will raise rates next year as economic growth falters.

Oil continued to be a drag on financial markets, with West Texas Intermediate back to $51 a barrel as OPEC ministers seek to cut output.

The start of the futures session was marred by an unexpected plunge that sent a shock wave across equity markets.

Lyft, Uber move toward IPO

For years, Uber and Lyft put off going public. Now, they are speeding up. Faced with a volatile stock market and the prospect of an economic downturn next year, the ride-hailing services have moved more urgently toward an IPO, said four people with knowledge of the companies’ plans. Lyft originally aimed to list its shares toward the middle of 2019, but it began moving more quickly after the recent stock market sell-off and because of a desire to go public before Uber, said two of the people. Uber has pushed its timing up because of concerns that a recession might be coming, said two people familiar with the plans.

For-profit college chain closes

The for-profit college chain Education Corporation of America said this week that it would shut down nearly all its schools, leaving almost 20,000 students with partially completed degrees and credits that many other schools will not accept. The company, based in Birmingham, Alabama, operated more than 70 vocationally focused campuses nationwide before losing its accreditation Tuesday. The shutdown was the largest failure of a for-profit chain since 2016, when ITT Technical Institutes went bankrupt, and came after the college’s accreditor — itself a troubled organization that the U.S. Education Department had accused of oversight failures —said it would no longer endorse the company’s programs.

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