US STOCKS-Wall St edges down; energy shares lead decline

lunes 27 de octubre de 2014 13:57 GYT

* Indexes off: Dow 0.03 pct, S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.1 pct (Updates to early afternoon trading, changes byline)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK Oct 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were slightly lower in early afternoon trading on Monday, led by a drop in energy shares as oil prices extended recent declines.

Shares of Gilead Sciences, up 1.7 percent, helped to limit some of the declines, along with Micron Technology , which jumped 3.5 percent after it announced a $1 billion stock repurchase.

But the S&P 500 energy index, down 2.1 percent, was the biggest negative influence on the benchmark index, with U.S. crude briefly trading below $80 a barrel. Goldman Sachs slashed its crude price forecasts, citing abundant supply and lackluster demand.

"We did have a big run last week, so the fact that we're flattish today is not a surprise," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

"There's continued focus on the price of oil, and the debate is, yes, it really helps the consumer... But, in terms of the producers, it's certainly a headwind to say the least."

The S&P 500 posted its best weekly percentage gain Friday since January 2013.

At 1:40 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average fell 4.33 points, or 0.03 percent, to 16,801.08, the S&P 500 lost 4.11 points, or 0.21 percent, to 1,960.47 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.20 points, or 0.09 percent, to 4,479.52.   Continuación...