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US STOCKS-Tech stocks rise; broader gains capped by Russia probe
October 30, 2017 / 3:35 PM / 25 days ago

US STOCKS-Tech stocks rise; broader gains capped by Russia probe

* Manafort charged in U.S. Russia probe

* Merck dips after European application for Keytruda pulled

* Apple up after analysts bullish on iPhone X demand

* GM lower after brokerage downgrade

* Dow down 0.05 pct, S&P off 0.08 pct, Nasdaq up 0.26 pct (Changes comment, adds details and updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

Oct 30 (Reuters) - An Apple-led surge in technology stocks lifted the Nasdaq to a record high on Monday, while the Dow and the S&P were weighed down by losses in healthcare stocks.

Gains were limited as investors assessed charges against Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager of President Donald Trump, and one of his affiliates - the first in connection with a probe into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Apple was higher after research firms pointed to strong demand for the iPhone X. The stock provided the biggest boost to the three main indexes.

Merck fell 4.7 percent, setting up the stock for its biggest two-day decline, after the company said it had withdrawn an application for European use of its key cancer immunotherapy.

“It’s a mirror image of what we saw on Friday, with day-to-day winners and losers of the earnings season reflected on the Dow and the S&P,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.

“As the technology names have done well, they are moving a whole lot more than the others.”

With the third-quarter earnings season more than half-way through, nearly 74 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, have topped profit expectations, compared with 72 percent overall the past four quarters.

Blockbuster earnings from tech companies powered Nasdaq to its best day in nearly a year on Friday. Apple and Facebook are among major companies reporting this week.

Investors also awaited the announcement on the nomination of the new Federal Reserve chief, expected on Thursday.

Trump is likely to pick Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell as the next chair of the U.S. central bank, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

At 10:49 a.m. ET (1449 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 12.74 points, or 0.05 percent, at 23,421.45 and the S&P 500 was down 1.96 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,579.11. The Nasdaq Composite was up 17.33 points, or 0.26 percent, at 6,718.59.

Six of the 11 major S&P indexes were lower, led by losses in healthcare and consumer staples stocks.

Mondelez fell 2 percent ahead of its earnings report, expected after the bell.

General Motors dipped 2.7 percent after Goldman Sachs downgraded the company’s stock to “sell” from “neutral”.

Advanced Micro Devices fell 6.33 percent after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to “underweight” from “equalweight”.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,469 to 1,308. On the Nasdaq, 1,625 issues fell and 1,049 advanced. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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