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US: Stocks rise but biotech dents Nasdaq gain

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The Dow and S&P 500 rallied on Monday, recovering some of the prior session's losses, but gains were minimal on the tech-rich Nasdaq due to weakness among biotech shares.

[NEW YORK] The Dow and S&P 500 rallied on Monday, recovering some of the prior session's losses, but gains were minimal on the tech-rich Nasdaq due to weakness among biotech shares.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up 125.61 points (0.77 per cent) to 16,510.19.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 8.94 (0.46 per cent) to 1,966.97, while the Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 1.73 (0.04 per cent) to 4,828.95.

Biotech shares fell sharply after Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton pledged to take action against runaway price increases on specialty drugs.

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Shares of Biogen fell 5.6 per cent, while Gilead Sciences lost 2.5 per cent.

Conventional pharma companies also dropped. The two weakest Dow stocks were Merck, down 2.2 per cent, and Pfizer, down 1.3 per cent.

Apple jumped 1.6 per cent following a Wall Street Journal report that said it aims to have an electric car on the road by 2019. The tech giant has tripled the size of the team working on the venture to 1,800 people, the article said.

Large banks advanced, with Dow member Goldman Sachs rising 1.3 per cent, Citigroup 0.8 per cent and Wells Fargo 1.0 per cent. Bank stocks had been hit hard last week by the Federal Reserve's decision Thursday to hold its key interest rate at zero; a higher interest rate could boost profits.

Semiconductor company Atmel surged 12.7 per cent on news it agreed to be acquired by Britain's Dialog Semiconductor for US$4.6 billion.

Chinese Internet giant Alibaba fell 2.8 per cent as the lockup period ended for investors to divest shares from the company's initial public offering.

Action camera maker GoPro sank 8.2 per cent following a Barron's article warning shares would fall due to increased competition.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.20 per cent from 2.13 per cent Friday, while the 30-year advanced to 3.02 per cent from 2.93 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

AFP