New York Report: US stocks are volatile as tech stocks sold off

THE S&P 500 ended higher yesterday after a volatile session, as gains in Apple and Pfizer helped offset another round of selling in some high-growth tech shares.

The Nasdaq ended slightly lower but rebounded late in the session from a fall of over one per cent. Leading the Nasdaq down was Amazon, which extended Friday’s sharp decline a day after its earnings report.

A flurry of merger and acquisition activity in the pharmaceutical sector lifted shares. Shares of Pfizer gained 4.2 per cent to $32.04 after the US drugmaker was said to be working on its next move in a potential $100bn bid to take over London-listed AstraZeneca, after two earlier bids were rejected.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 87.28 points or 0.53 per cent, to end at 16,448.74. The S&P 500 gained 6.03 points or 0.32 per cent, to 1,869.43. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.161 points or 0.03 per cent, to 4,074.401.

Apple’s stock jumped 3.9 per cent to $594.09. The stock has gained 13.2 per cent since the close on Wednesday, when Apple reported results after the bell.

Amazon ended down 2.4 per cent at $296.58, while Facebook fell 2.7 per cent to close at $56.14. High-growth stocks such as those have been battered in recent weeks as investors have pulled out of the tech and biotech space.

Bank of America shares tumbled 6.3 per cent to $14.95 after the company said it will suspend a planned increase in its quarterly dividend as well as its latest stock buyback programme.