US STOCKS-S&P 500 flat as energy spike offsets tech slide

lunes 7 de marzo de 2016 16:38 GYT

* Valeant jumps as investors hope for positive news

* Crude oil surges more than 5 pct

* Dow up 0.3 pct, S&P off 0.07 pct, Nasdaq down 0.4 pct (Updates to late afternoon)

By Rodrigo Campos

March 7 (Reuters) - Major U.S. stock indexes were mixed in late Monday trading as a spike in energy shares offset sharp declines in large-cap technology names.

Crude prices, which have largely dictated the direction of the stock market this year, were up more than 5 percent. The S&P 500 energy sector, up 2 percent, rose for the fifth consecutive session, a streak not seen since October. It is up 23 percent from its 2016 low hit in mid-January.

"Oil is stabilizing and that is helping to bolster sentiment in overall equity returns," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

"It appears that the extreme bearish scenarios are being discounted at the moment, and there seems to be a bias to the upside," said Sandven.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 47.46 points, or 0.28 percent, to 17,054.23, the S&P 500 lost 1.37 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,998.62 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 18.79 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,698.24.   Continuación...