By Yasin Ebrahim – The S&P 500 moved off session lows Thursday, underpinned by a slight dip-buying in tech and financials and a jump in energy as oil prices rallied.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.17%, or 61 points, the Nasdaq added 0.4%.

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Meta, formerly known as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), were among the biggest gainers in tech with the latter up more than 3% as investors bought the dip in tech.

The move off the lows in tech comes in the wake of concerns that growth stocks are set for a challenging period as the Federal Reserve – in its December minutes released Wednesday – signaled that it could be prepared to tighten monetary policy faster than expected to curb inflation pressures.

In the wake of the hawkish Fed minutes, some were quick to remind investors that Fed member discussion about tightening were in line with the communication at the December meeting.

“It is important to keep in mind that these minutes are entirely consistent with the Fed communication at the FOMC meeting, the updated dots, and the communication in the interim,” Jefferies said in a note. “There isn’t really any new information here.”

Energy, meanwhile, racked up gains as U.S. oil prices briefly topped $80 a barrel, but may soon run out of steam as the omicron variant threatens demand at time when supply is set to increase in the first quarter, “partly due to the release of strategic reserves,” Commerzbank said.

Bank stocks continued to ride the move higher in Treasury yields, with the 10-year closing in on its 52-week high as traders price in sooner rather later tightening from the Federal Reserve.

Signature Bank (NASDAQ:SBNY), SVB Financial (NASDAQ:SIVB), and People’s United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT) were among the biggest gainers.

Banks are set to garner added attention in the coming weeks as JPMorgan and Citigroup kick off the quarterly earnings season in earnest on Jan. 14.

On the economic front, data showed that services activity weakened by more than expected, while weekly jobless claims unexpectedly rose to 207,000 for the week ended Jan. 1.

Still, market participants remain confident on the recovery, particularly in the labor market, where monthly job gains in December are expected to have bounced back following softer November data.

Economists forecast the U.S. economy created 400,000 jobs in December, underpinned by a pick-up in the number of people entering the labor market.

“In December, we think the participation rate will tick up from 61.8% to 61.9%. Together with our forecast for employment, this would leave the unemployment rate unchanged at 4.2% in December,” Morgan Stanley said ahead of the jobs report.

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