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Overnight Markets: US stocks down as tech shares extend slide

by Himanshu Singh on Apr 08, 2014 at 04:03

Overnight Markets: US stocks down as tech shares extend slide

Wall Street fell on Monday, with the S&P 500 registering its biggest three-day drop in two months, as Internet stocks extended last week’s selloff and investors rotated into defensive names to protect against further declines.

The Dow Jones industrial average declined 167 points or 1.02%, to 16,246, the S&P 500 lost 20 points or 1.08%, to 1,845 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 48 points or 1.16%, to 4,080 - posting its worst three-day decline since November 2011.

Internet shares suffered the most with Amazon.com (AMZN.O) down 1.6% and Yahoo! Inc (YHOO.O) off 3.5%. The Global X Social Media ETF (SOCL.O) which includes Groupon Inc (GRPN.O) and LinkedIn (LNKD.N) fell 2.5%.

However, the biotechnology sector, which saw sharp losses in the past several sessions, ended higher. Defensive stocks such as utilities and consumer staples were also in positive territory.

Dish Network Corp (DISH.O) was among the top decliners on the Nasdaq 100, down 4.4%.

Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) was down 3% after the company's experimental breast cancer drug in a clinical trial nearly doubled the amount of time patients lived without their disease getting worse.

In deal news, specialty pharmaceuticals company Mallinckrodt Plc (MNK.N) agreed to buy drugmaker Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc (QCOR.O) for about $5.6 billion to gain access to its multiple sclerosis drug, Acthar Gel. Questcor shares climbed 18.7% while Mallinckrodt dropped 2.5%.

Financial stocks declined, with MetLife Inc. tumbling 2.8% and Morgan Stanley sliding 2.8%. Visa Inc. decreased 2.1%.

In Asia, shares declined for a second day on Tuesday, following the biggest three-day rout in US shares in more than two months, as health-care to technology companies retreated.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.5% to 138 as of 10:34 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index slid 1.6% as the yen rose for a third day, trading at 102.87 per dollar. The Bank of Japan ends a two-day policy meeting today.

South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.1%, while Sinagpore’s Straits Times Index and Taiwan’s Taiex Index were little changed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 0.3%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index lost 1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.2%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6%.

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