New York Report: Dow Jones falls after a drop in crude oil prices

US STOCK indexes ended mostly lower last night, retreating from records set the previous month, as falling crude oil prices dragged energy shares down and offset strong manufacturing data.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 30.89 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 17,067.56. The S&P 500 ended down 1.09 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 2,002.28. The Nasdaq Composite added 17.92 points, or 0.39 per cent, to end at 4,598.19.

Merger activity continues to flourish. Dollar General raised its bid for Family Dollar Stores by 2 per cent to $80 per share, or $9.1bn, and warned it may turn hostile and appeal directly to shareholders if the new offer was rejected. Family Dollar shares edged up 0.5 per cent to $80.21 while Dollar General advanced 0.5 per cent to $64.33.

Compuware jumped 12.2 per cent to $10.49 after the business software maker agreed to be bought by private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo in a deal valued at about $2.5bn.

Conn’s tumbled 30.7 per cent to $31.06 after the retailer posted second-quarter results that missed expectations and gave a full-year outlook below analysts’ forecasts.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said it would buy Prestige Cruises International in a $3.03bn deal, including debt. Its shares climbed 11.8 per cent to $37.23.

Exelixis shares plunged 55.6 per cent to $1.88. The company said on Monday it would cut about 70 per cent of its workforce after its experimental prostate cancer drug cabozantinib failed a late-stage study.

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