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Overnight Markets: US stocks end mostly lower on tech selloff

Overnight Markets: US stocks end mostly lower on tech selloff

Wall Street mostly declined on Thursday with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closing lower, as technology shares erased a rally to sell off for a third straight day.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 32 points or 0.2%, to close at 16,551, the S&P 500 lost three points or 0.14%, to 1,876 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 16 points or 0.4%, to 4,051.

Nasdaq was boosted earlier by a turnaround in beaten-down internet stocks, while a drop in initial jobless claims suggested the labour market was improving and had helped lift the broader market.

US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, in testimony to a Senate panel, said no decision had yet been made on the central bank's portfolio of assets, which has swollen to $4.5 trillion from about $800 billion in 2007. If the Fed ultimately shrinks it to a pre-crisis size, the process could take the better part of a decade, Yellen said.

However, a late selloff in utilities and energy dragged the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to session lows. Transocean Ltd. slid 4.3%, its biggest decline since February 2013, while Nabors Industries Ltd. fell 3.1%. Phone companies had the best performance, rallying 1.5%.

Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) jumped 4.2% and Groupon (GRPN.O) gained 6.1% on Thursday. Amazon dropped for a third day, falling 1.5%. E*Trade declined 2.1% for its third decline in the past four sessions.

Priceline Group (PCLN.O) fell 2.1% after the travel website operator reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit but forecast second-quarter profit below estimates.

Tesla Motors (TSLA.O) shares fell 11.3%, a day after the company's outlook also disappointed some investors.

DirecTV dropped 3.6%. AT&T Inc., the second-biggest US mobile-phone carrier, is in talks to buy the satellite-television company, sources said. AT&T climbed 1.8%.

In Asia, most shares gained on Friday in late morning trade as Macau casino operators rebounded in Hong Kong and Canon Inc. said it would buy back shares.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.3% to 138 as of 10:22 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index gained 0.8%. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.2% after the central bank left its benchmark interest rate at 2.5% for a 12th straight month.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.3%, dragged lower by Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., trading without the right to the current dividend.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.2%, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.1%. Taiwan’s Taiex index slipped 0.3%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index dropped 0.1%, and Singapore’s Straits Times Index was little changed.

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