Tech shares pull back, but Dow hits another record

The Dow rally continued but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell on Monday after six sessions of gains, weighed by tech sector stocks, while a rally in energy shares petered out as crude oil gains withered.
ExxonMobil gained 2.2 percent and Chevron 1.1 percent on higher oil prices, lifting the Dow to its sixth straight record.
ExxonMobil gained 2.2 percent and Chevron 1.1 percent on higher oil prices, lifting the Dow to its sixth straight record.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Gains in petroleum-linked shares pushed the Dow to a fresh record Monday (Dec 12), but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell on weakness in technology and defense stocks.

ExxonMobil gained 2.2 percent and Chevron 1.1 percent on higher oil prices, lifting the Dow to its sixth straight record.

But defense shares pulled back after President-elect Donald Trump's blasted costs for Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth fighter. Lockheed lost 2.5 percent, and General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon all fell.

Amazon, Facebook and Expedia all lost one percent or more on a weak day for technology shares. Apple shed 0.6 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.2 percent to 19,796.43.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.1 percent to 2,256.96, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 0.6 percent to 5,412.54.

This week's calendar includes a Federal Reserve meeting that is expected to conclude with an interest rate increase Wednesday, and a host of US data releases, including November retail sales.

Pharmaceutical shares were generally higher, with Pfizer up 2.2, Mylan 1.7 percent and Gilead Sciences 1.1 percent.

But Alexion Pharmaceuticals sank 12.9 as it announced that chief executive David Hallal and chief financial officer Vikas Sinha had both left the company as it nears completion of an investigation of its sales practices related to the Soliris drug to treat a rare blood disease.

Viacom tumbled 7.5 percent and CBS dropped 0.6 percent as National Amusements, which owns a majority of voting stock in both companies, said it asked the two companies to abort talks on a possible merger. National Amusements said it concluded it was not the right time to combine the companies.

Twenty-First Century Fox shed 6.2 percent after Moody's warned that the media company was under review for a potential downgrade due to higher to finance a potential purchase of the stake in Sky it does not already own.

Fox said it reached an agreement in principle with Sky, but that there were no guarantees a deal would be struck.