ENERGY shares fell their most in a month, as crude prices slid, dragging on Wall Street despite gains in Wal-Mart and consumer and tech stocks.
Brent crude prices fell below $78 a barrel, leaving the S&P 500 little changed yesterday despite gains in Wal-Mart, which closed up 4.7 per cent, and other bellweathers.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40.59 points, or 0.23 per cent, to close at a record high of 17,652.79; the S&P 500 gained 1.08 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 2,039.33 and the Nasdaq Composite added 5.01 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 4,680.14.
The energy sector, sharply cut its losses late in the session after Dow Jones reported Halliburton is in talks to buy Baker Hughes, citing unidentified sources.
Apple rose as high as $113.45 to a fresh record while Microsoft, up 1.6 per cent at $49.55, overtook Exxon Mobil as the second-largest listed US company, behind Apple.