S&P 500 flat as energy spike offsets tech slide | Reuters

Major U.S. stock indexes were mixed in late Monday trading as a spike in energy shares offset sharp declines in large-cap technology names.

Crude prices, which have largely dictated the direction of the stock market this year, were up more than 5 percent. The S&P 500 energy sector .SPNY, up 2 percent, rose for the fifth consecutive session, a streak not seen since October. It is up 23 percent from its 2016 low hit in mid-January.

"Oil is stabilizing and that is helping to bolster sentiment in overall equity returns," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

"It appears that the extreme bearish scenarios are being discounted at the moment, and there seems to be a bias to the upside," said Sandven.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 47.46 points, or 0.28 percent, to 17,054.23, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 1.37 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,998.62 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 18.79 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,698.24.

Alphabet (GOOGL.O), Facebook (FB.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O) were all down more than 2 percent each.

A string of upbeat data from major economies and stabilizing commodity prices have helped improve sentiment ahead of a relatively quiet week in terms of data for Wall Street as corporate earnings season draws to a close.

U.S.-traded Valeant Pharmaceuticals shares (VRX.N) rose 6.7 percent to $65.42. The Canadian drugmaker said it would report fourth-quarter numbers next week, giving investors hopes for positive news after months of uncertainty and volatility.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,820 to 1,165; on the Nasdaq, 1,878 issues rose and 956 fell.

The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq recorded 33 new highs and 23 new lows.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Mar 08, 2016 02:45 AM

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