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US: Oil weakness hits Dow; Nasdaq rises


[NEW YORK] Petroleum-linked shares tumbled on Monday on lower oil prices, while gains by Apple and other technology shares lifted the Nasdaq.

Worries about the glutted energy market pushed Dow members ExxonMobil and Chevron down by 3.4 per cent each, leaving the blue-chip index in negative territory.

But Apple climbed 1.6 per cent and Netflix 3.4 per cent, suggesting a rotation by investors into technology shares.

Analysts were awaiting key earnings later in the week from Pfizer and Procter & Gamble, as well as major economic data releases, culminating with Friday's US jobs report for July.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.2 per cent to 8,404.51.

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The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 0.1 per cent to 2,170.84, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.4 per cent to 5,184.20.

SolarCity plunged 7.4 per cent on news it agreed to be acquired by Tesla for US$2.6 billion. Tesla dropped 2.0 per cent. Analysts have cautioned that the deal could divert Tesla from its ambitious plan to expand production of electric cars.

Fleetmatics Group, which sells software to manage commercial vehicle fleets, soared 38.7 on news it will be acquired by Verizon Communications for US$2.4 billion. Verizon lost 1.6 per cent.

Offshore driller Diamond Offshore sank 7.7 per cent after reporting a second-quarter loss of US$589.9 million following a large charge due to the slump in oil prices.

Biogen surged 4.1 per cent and Ionis Pharmaceuticals 30.2 per cent after announcing a successful clinical analysis of a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy.

Other biotech shares were also strong, with Gilead Sciences advancing 1.3 per cent and Celgene 2.2 per cent.


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