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US: Stocks fall; Nasdaq winning streak ends

[NEW YORK] The Nasdaq's nine-day streak of gains ended on Monday as Wall Street stocks began a heavy week of earnings on a down note.

All three major indices declined, with the Nasdaq falling 0.2 per cent to 6,579.73, snapping streaks of nine straight gains and six straight records.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1 per cent to 22,761.07, while the broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.2 per cent to 2,544.73.

Health and media shares were among the biggest decliners as investors looked ahead to major earnings reports this week from banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America and from other companies, such as Delta Air Lines.

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Investor optimism about the upcoming earnings season and the prospects of a US tax cut under President Donald Trump has repeatedly lifted stocks to records over the last two weeks. But Monday's trading volume was expected to be light due to the Columbus Day holiday.

General Electric tumbled 3.9 per cent as it announced that it added Ed Garden of the activist fund Trian Fund Management to its board of directors and named Jamie Miller as chief financial officer, replacing Jeffrey Bornstein, who is retiring.

The moves are among the first steps by new chief executive John Flannery to try to turn around the industrial giant.

Wal-Mart Stores jumped 2.0 per cent after announcing a new program to allow expedited returns of items through the smartphone app and a store drop-off. The retail giant will host a Wall Street investor day on Tuesday.

Tesla Motors dropped 3.9 per cent after announcing late Friday that it is delaying the planned launch of its electric transport truck. The news comes as the electric car maker also contends with production challenges that have slowed output of its hotly anticipated Model 3 sedan.

Pharmacies and drugstore-related shares sank again on worries that Amazon could enter the market for selling medication. CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance both lost more than three per cent, while Express Scripts slumped 5.0 per cent.

Viacom shed 4.1 per cent following a downgrade from Citigroup. Other media shares were also weak, including Twenty-First Century Fox, which lost 1.5 per cent and Comcast, which declined 0.6 per cent.

AFP