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US: Tech weakness hits Nasdaq, Dow flat despite oil strength

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[NEW YORK] Weakness in some large technology shares sent the Nasdaq lower Wednesday, while the Dow was essentially flat despite strong gains from banks and energy companies.

Technology stocks have been volatile since Election Day, with some industry leaders expressing concern that President-elect Donald Trump's protectionist policies could harm the sector.

Analysts said Wednesday's drop reflected a rotation from technology to other sectors expected to benefit from Trump. Amazon, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet all lost 1.5 per cent or more.

Biotechnology stocks were another weak area, with Celgene losing 3.0 per cent and Gilead Sciences 1.5 per cent.

Market voices on:

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index ended down 1.1 per cent to 5,323.68.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added just two points, less than 0.1 per cent, to close at 19,123.58, while the broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.3 per cent to 2,198.81.

"The stock market closed a strong month on a sloppy note," said.

"Equity indices entered the day with an assortment of positive headlines to rally behind, but what we saw instead, was a continuation of the selling that showed up during the last hour of yesterday's session."

Chevron rose 2.0 per cent, while Halliburton surged 11.1 per cent and Marathon Oil 20.8 per cent after an Opec deal to cut production boosted oil prices.

Dow members JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs added 1.6 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively, in anticipation of favorable policies from the incoming Trump administration.