January 9, 2017 / 5:41 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Banks, oil stocks hinder Dow's pursuit of 20,000

* Oil prices fall 2.5 pct, energy index top index loser

* Health sector gains on string of multi-billion dollar deals

* Tech stocks surge push Nasdaq to record high

* Dow down 0.13 pct, S&P down 0.11 pct, Nasdaq up 0.19 pct (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Jan 9 (Reuters) - Declines in bank and energy companies weighed on Wall Street on Monday, distancing the Dow from the 20,000 mark, while gains in technology stocks pushed the Nasdaq to a record intraday high.

Two-thirds of the 30 Dow components were lower, with Goldman Sachs’s 0.7 percent decline weighing the most. P&G and Coca-Cola dropped 0.9 percent after Goldman downgraded both the consumer staple stocks.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the energy sector’s 1.3 percent drop. Oil prices fell 2.5 percent on concerns that rising U.S. output could dampen the impact of a recent deal among major producers to limit output.

The declines meant the Dow stayed shy of the psychologically significant 20,000 mark. It came tantalizingly close on Friday, hitting a record of 19,999.63, as the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also touched records after a late pop in tech stocks.

“Our view about the Dow (hitting) 20,000 is not a matter of if, but a matter of when,” said Matt Jones, U.S. head of equity strategy at J.P. Morgan Private Bank in New York.

At 11:08 a.m. ET (1608 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 26.53 points, or 0.13 percent, at 19,937.27.

The S&P 500 was down 2.48 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,274.5 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 10.27 points, or 0.19 percent, at 5,531.32. The Nasdaq hit a high of 5,538.295.

The tech sector was the top gainer. Apple , which is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, was up 1.1 percent at $119.14, after hitting a 13-month high of $119.30.

“As we move into the next couple of weeks, the focus will move towards the micro and to specific company earnings and expectation going forward,” Jones said.

The first peek into how companies fared will be provided later this week by big U.S. banks. S&P 500 companies overall are expected to post a 6.1 percent increase in profit in the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

A string of multi-billion dollar healthcare deals boost the sector on Monday.

Ariad Pharma surged nearly 73 percent on a $5.20 billion buyout deal with Japan’s Takeda. Pet hospital operator VCA jumped 28 percent after Mars Inc said it would buy the company for $7.7 billion.

Surgical Care Affiliates jumped 16 percent on a deal to be bought by UnitedHealth for about $2.30 billion. Dow component UnitedHealth dipped 0.6 percent.

Acuity Brands fell 12.3 percent to $207.51 after the lighting solutions provider gave a disappointing sales forecast.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,667 to 1,167. On the Nasdaq, 1,562 issues fell and 1,149 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed five new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 37 new highs and 11 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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