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US: Stocks fall as market eyes Greece talks


[NEW YORK] US stocks finished lower on Monday, snapping a two-day surge in equities as investors eyed tough negotiations between Greece and international creditors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 85.94 points (0.47 per cent) to 18,105.17.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 10.77 (0.51 per cent) to 2,105.33, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 9.98 (0.20 per cent) at 4,993.57.

"The market seems to be tired," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "Every time we get up to these levels, we pull back." Athens's radical new government scraped together enough cash to order Monday the debt repayment of 750 million euros (S$1.1 billion) to the International Monetary Fund in time for Tuesday's deadline.

However, at a eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Greece and other eurozone officials remained far apart on whether the Greek government's reform plans are enough for the debt-wracked country to receive further bailout funds.

Petroleum company Rosetta Resources surged 27.2 per cent after announcing an agreement to be acquired by Noble Energy for US$2.1 billion plus the assumption of US$1.8 billion of Rosetta debt. Noble fell 6.2 per cent.

US online retailer Zulily jumped 5.2 per cent on news that Alibaba, China's e-commerce giant, has raised its stake in the boutique that markets to mothers and features daily deals. Alibaba shed 0.4 per cent.

Pharmaceutical company Actavis rose 3.1 per cent as first-quarter earnings excluding the Allergan acquisition and other one-time costs translated into US$4.30 per share, better than the US$3.94 per share projected by analysts.

Hilton Worldwide dropped 1.4 per cent after announcing that its biggest shareholder, the Blackstone Group, will sell 90 million shares. Blackstone fell 0.3 per cent.

Online real estate company Zillow rose 6.9 per cent following an upgrade by Sun Trust Robinson Humphrey.

Bond prices fell sharply. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury advanced to 2.28 per cent from 2.14 per cent Friday, while the 30-year jumped to 3.05 per cent from 2.90 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.