August 8, 2016 / 3:37 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St flat as health stocks weigh

* S&P sheds gains after hitting record high

* Allergan falls on forecast cut

* Indexes down: Dow 0.02 pct, S&P 0.02 pct, Nasdaq 0.16 pct (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Aug 8 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 index failed to hold on to its gains after opening at a record high on Monday as a drop in healthcare stocks offset the impact of higher oil prices and a strong jobs report.

The S&P 500 healthcare index lost 1.14 percent, the most since June 27.

However, oil prices rose nearly 3 percent after a report in the Wall Street Journal last week that some OPEC members had called for a freeze in production.

The S&P and the Nasdaq closed at record highs on Friday after data showed that the U.S. economy added 255,000 jobs in July, way more than 180,000 that analysts had estimated.

“You know the old saying, buy on the rumor, sell on the news, so I wouldn’t say today’s movement is particularly surprising,” said Melissa Brown, senior director of applied research at Axioma in New York.

“The markets have been up a lot so it seems like the employment report has already been reflected in stock prices.”

At 11:09 a.m. ET (1509 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.81 points, or 0.02 percent, at 18,540.72.

The S&P 500 was down 0.39 points, or 0.02 percent, at 2,182.48.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 8.12 points, or 0.16 percent, at 5,213.00.

Five of the 10 major S&P 500 indexes were lower, with the healthcare index losing the most, while the energy index gained 1.66 percent.

Bristol-Myers fell for the second straight day after its lung cancer drug failed a key late stage study. The stock was down 4 percent and was the biggest drag on the S&P 500.

Merck, which makes a rival drug, fell 2.5 percent. The stock had risen 10 percent on Friday, following the news on Bristol-Myers’ drug.

Allergan lost 4.5 percent after it slashed its full-year revenue forecast and said it was not looking to use its surplus cash to fund any deals.

Pfizer, which had terminated a deal to buy Allergan in April, fell 1.6 percent.

Oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron rose about 1 percent and were the top drivers of the S&P.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,804 to 1,025. On the Nasdaq, 1,381 issues rose and 1,287 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 26 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 79 new highs and 12 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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