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US: Dow, S&P 500 rise with oil; Nasdaq falls


[NEW YORK] Energy and industrial names surged on Wednesday with rising oil prices, but the Nasdaq finished lower as Google parent Alphabet and some other leading technology names retreated.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 183.12 points (1.13 per cent) to 16,336.66.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 9.50 (0.50 per cent) to 1,912.53, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 12.71 (0.28 per cent) to 4,504.24.

On the Dow, ExxonMobil jumped 5.2 per cent while Caterpillar climbed 4.3 percent as oil prices rallied on renewed speculation of a potential cut in global oil production.

"It's been a clear rotation out of some of the tech winners into industrials," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities.

Some of the biggest gainers from recent months dropped, including Amazon, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet, which lost 4.9 per cent.

As a result, Alphabet ceded its title of most valuable company after just one day back to Apple, which rose 2.0 per cent.

General Motors fell 2.5 per cent despite reporting fourth-quarter earnings that translated into US$1.39, a solid 18 cents above analyst expectations. Barclays cited worries the booming US auto market has peaked.

Yahoo dropped 4.7 per cent as it reported an annual loss of US$4.4 billion, announced it was cutting 15 per cent of its workforce and suggested it could seek a deal to sell or merge the company.

Wells Fargo shed 1.8 per cent after announcing a preliminary agreement to pay US$1.2 billion to settle charges by US government authorities that it improperly certified loans for a federal mortgage insurance program.

Chipotle Mexican Grill lost 2.9 per cent as it reported a 44 per cent decline in fourth-quarter earnings to US$67.9 million after a pair of E. coli outbreaks depressed sales. Investment bank Jefferies warned of a "possible long road to recovery." Comcast rose 6.0 per cent after it hiked its dividend by 10 per cent and authorized an additional US$10 billion in share repurchases. Net income for the fourth quarter rose 2.4 per cent to US$2.0 billion.

US home improvement retailer Lowe's fell 6.2 per cent on news it will acquire Canadian rival Rona for about US$2.3 billion.

Food company Mondelez International slumped 6.5 per cent after reporting a US$728 million loss in the fourth quarter, mainly due to an accounting charge related to its struggling Venezuela operations.


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