June 24, 2019 / 6:32 PM / 5 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street struggles for direction ahead of G20 summit

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* Healthcare hit by losses in Celgene, Bristol-Myers

* Energy stocks down as crude prices slump

* FedEx drops on Huawei delivery mix-up

* Dow up 0.06%, S&P 500 down 0.05%, Nasdaq off 0.15% (Updates to late afternoon, changes dateline, byline)

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) - Wall Street struggled for direction on Monday as gains by technology companies were blunted by losses in the healthcare sector, while investors looked to U.S. President Donald Trump’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 summit later this week.

The Dow held on to a small advance, while the Nasdaq was slightly lower. The bellwether S&P 500 was down nominally, although still hovering within a hair’s breadth of its all-time closing high reached last Thursday.

Trade-sensitive industrials, led by Boeing Co, kept the blue-chip Dow in the black.

U.S.-China trade tensions, having grown from simmer to boil in recent months, have market participants eyeing the leaders of the world’s two largest economies and their expected meeting at the upcoming Group of 20 summit due to convene in Japan on Friday.

“Last week we had a big move to the upside in anticipation of what the Fed would do,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama. “Since then the market’s biding its time until the G20 meeting.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 16.37 points, or 0.06%, to 26,735.5, the S&P 500 lost 1.6 points, or 0.05%, to 2,948.86 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 11.87 points, or 0.15%, to 8,019.84.

Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500 five were in the red, with energy stocks seeing the largest percentage drop as crude prices fell 0.8%.

In the latest trade-related skirmish, FedEx Corp apologized for mistakenly returning a Huawei phone to its sender, after misrouting packages from the Chinese tech firm last month. The move provoked the ire of Chinese authorities and raised the prospect of FedEx being added to China’s “unreliable entities” list. The package delivery firm’s shares fell 2.3%.

Caesars Entertainment Corp jumped 14.5% on news that rival Eldorado Resorts Inc had agreed to buy the casino operator for $8.5 billion. Eldorado dropped 13.3%.

United Technologies Corp advanced 1.0% after Cowen & Co upgraded it to “outperform” from “market perform.”

Celgene Corp slipped 5.2% after Bristol-Myers Squibb Co announced that its planned $74 billion deal to buy the drugmaker was expected to close at the end of 2019 or beginning 2020, later than expected. Bristol-Myers fell 7.3%.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.26-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.74-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 35 new 52-week highs and 5 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 41 new highs and 66 new lows. (Reporting by Stephen Culp, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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