Dow flat as oil skids; S&P, Nasdaq boosted by health | Reuters

Dow flat as oil skids; S&P, Nasdaq boosted by health
| Reuters

By Tanya Agrawal and Anya George Tharakan

The Dow was little changed in late morning trading on Tuesday, pressured by a sharp drop in oil prices that weighed on energy companies, while a rise in healthcare and biotech stocks helped lift the Nasdaq and the S&P 500.Oil fell nearly 4 percent on signs that leading oil exporters were struggling to agree on a deal to cut production ahead of an OPEC meeting on Wednesday.The S&P energy index dropped 1.75 percent, leading the decliners among the 11 major S&P sectors. All but one of its components were in the red.Chevron declined 1.6 percent and Exxon fell 1.3 percent. The stocks were among the biggest drags on the Dow and the S&P."You're seeing oil, both in terms of the physical commodity as well as energy equities, under pressure today and this is on the back of increased skepticism surrounding the likelihood of OPEC reaching any type of consensus tomorrow," said Marcelle Daher, co-head of North American asset allocation at John Hancock Financial Services.Helping offset the drag from lower oil prices was the healthcare index's 0.68 percent gain, which led the seven advancing S&P sectors.Boosting the sector was UnitedHealth's 3.6 percent rise to a record high after the largest U.S. health insurer's upbeat forecast.

AbbVie was also up 3.2 percent, while Clegene rose 1.9 percent. The Nasdaq Biotech index was up 0.41 percent.At 11:03 a.m. ET (1603 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 16.59 points, or 0.09 percent, at 19,114.49.The S&P 500 was up 4.3 points, or 0.2 percent, at 2,206.02.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 19.80 points, or 0.37 percent, at 5,388.61.U.S. stocks closed lower on Monday in their worst showing in nearly a month as investors booked profits on the heels of a record-setting week.Wall Street has rallied since Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election as investors expect his plans to increase infrastructure spending, cut corporate taxes and reduce regulation to boost the economy.However some analysts have argued that the rally may have been overdone.

"I do think some of the moves have been massive, quite honestly ... there has been an overshoot," said Daher.Among stocks, Tiffany was up 4.7 percent at $81.82 after the upscale jeweler reported its first rise in sales in eight quarters.Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,548 to 1,268. On the Nasdaq, 1,555 issues rose and 1,055 fell.The S&P 500 index showed 15 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 110 new highs and 12 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Savio D'Souza)

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Updated Date: Nov 29, 2016 22:45:06 IST

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