* Oil prices fall 2.5 pct, energy index top index loser
* Health sector gains on string of multi-billion dollar
* Tech stocks surge push Nasdaq to record high
* Dow down 0.13 pct, S&P down 0.11 pct, Nasdaq up 0.19 pct
(Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Jan 9 Declines in bank and energy companies
weighed on Wall Street on Monday, distancing the Dow from the
20,000 mark, while gains in technology stocks pushed the Nasdaq
to a record intraday high.
Two-thirds of the 30 Dow components were lower, with Goldman
Sachs's 0.7 percent decline weighing the most. P&G
and Coca-Cola dropped 0.9 percent after Goldman
downgraded both the consumer staple stocks.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the
energy sector's 1.3 percent drop. Oil prices fell 2.5
percent on concerns that rising U.S. output could dampen the
impact of a recent deal among major producers to limit output.
The declines meant the Dow stayed shy of the psychologically
significant 20,000 mark. It came tantalizingly close on Friday,
hitting a record of 19,999.63, as the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq
also touched records after a late pop in tech stocks.
"Our view about the Dow (hitting) 20,000 is not a matter of
if, but a matter of when," said Matt Jones, U.S. head of equity
strategy at J.P. Morgan Private Bank in New York.
At 11:08 a.m. ET (1608 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was down 26.53 points, or 0.13 percent, at
The S&P 500 was down 2.48 points, or 0.11 percent, at
2,274.5 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 10.27 points, or
0.19 percent, at 5,531.32. The Nasdaq hit a high of 5,538.295.
The tech sector was the top gainer. Apple
, which is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the
iPhone, was up 1.1 percent at $119.14, after hitting a 13-month
high of $119.30.
"As we move into the next couple of weeks, the focus will
move towards the micro and to specific company earnings and
expectation going forward," Jones said.
The first peek into how companies fared will be provided
later this week by big U.S. banks. S&P 500 companies overall are
expected to post a 6.1 percent increase in profit in the
quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
A string of multi-billion dollar healthcare deals boost the
sector on Monday.
Ariad Pharma surged nearly 73 percent on a $5.20
billion buyout deal with Japan's Takeda. Pet hospital
operator VCA jumped 28 percent after Mars Inc said it
would buy the company for $7.7 billion.
Surgical Care Affiliates jumped 16 percent on a
deal to be bought by UnitedHealth for about $2.30
billion. Dow component UnitedHealth dipped 0.6 percent.
Acuity Brands fell 12.3 percent to $207.51 after the
lighting solutions provider gave a disappointing sales forecast.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,667
to 1,167. On the Nasdaq, 1,562 issues fell and 1,149 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed five new 52-week highs and no new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 37 new highs and 11 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by