Markets Fade After an Early Gain, Finish With Small Losses 


Stocks gained ground early Monday as they came off their best week in 2015, but faded in the afternoon and sustained small losses for the day.

Technology stocks fell more than the rest of the market. Pfizer and Allergan slipped after announcing a deal to combine and create the world’s largest drug company. GameStop skidded after reporting weak results.

Pfizer gave up 85 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $31.33 and Allergan fell $10.74, or 3.4 percent, to $301.72. The companies said last month that they were discussing a combination, and Allergan shares are up about 6 percent since then while Pfizer stock has lost 11 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 31.13 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,792.68. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index declined 2.58 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,086.59. The Nasdaq composite index fell 2.44 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,102.48.

The S&P 500 index rose 3.3 percent last week, lifted by good news from retailers and tech stocks. That was its largest weekly gain since last December. However, it wasn’t quite enough to cancel out the big loss the S&P suffered the previous week.

Apple dragged down the technology sector as its stock fell $1.55, or 1.3 percent, to $117.75.

Consumer discretionary stocks rose. Chipotle Mexican Grill rebounded $23.10, or 4.3 percent, to $559.29. The stock dropped 12 percent and set an annual low Friday on reports that an E. coli outbreak linked to its restaurants had spread.

Amazon rose $10.54, or 1.6 percent, to $678.99 days before Black Friday. Macy’s, which like many retailers has taken a beating on fears the year-end shopping season will be weak, rose $1.44, or 3.7 percent, to $40.04.

Tuesday morning the Conference Board will release its latest Consumer Confidence report. That will give investors more insight into how consumers are feeling and how much they’ll spend shopping.

British drugmaker Mallinckrodt and food producer Tyson both climbed following solid quarterly reports. Tyson climbed $4.44, or 10.2 percent, to $48.09. Mallinckrodt gained $5.10, or 8.4 percent, to $66.10. Its shares have plunged 47 percent since early August on concerns about new regulations of drug prices, which could hurt its business.

Alcoa rose after the hedge fund Elliott Management disclosed that it has bought a 6.4 percent stake in the maker of aluminum and other metals. Alcoa picked up 38 cents, or 4.4 percent, to $9.07.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 15 cents, or 0.4 percent, to close at $41.75 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, rose 17 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $44.83 a barrel in London.

Heating oil edged up 0.3 cents to $1.374 a gallon. Wholesale gasoline added 2.3 cents to $1.313 a gallon. Natural gas rose 6.5 cents, or 3 percent, to $2.21 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Metals prices are mired in a slump that has taken them to their lowest prices in six years. That continued Monday, as gold fell $9.50, or 0.9 percent, to $1,066.80 an ounce and silver lost six cents, or 0.5 percent, to $14.03 an ounce. Copper slid 3.4 cents, or 1.7 percent, $2.02 per pound.

U.S. government bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.24 percent from 2.26 percent. The dollar rose to 122.85 yen from 122.84 yen. The euro declined to $1.0625 from $1.0657 Friday.

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