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U.S. stocks slightly lower as Health Care, Energy rally loses steam

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Investing.com -- U.S. stocks closed slightly lower on Monday on a volatile day of trading, as a rally in the health care and energy sectors faded late in the session.

Investors reacted to a major merger in the pharmaceutical industry after Pfizer Inc (N:PFE) acquired Allergan Plc (N:AGN) in a $160 billion, the biggest deal ever in the healthcare sector. The merger allows Pfizer to move its corporate headquarters to Dublin, the home of Allergan, to slash its corporate tax rate from 25 to 17%. The deal also comes in the wake of an announcement from the U.S. Department of the Treasury last week to take additional actions to deter U.S. multi-national corporations from engaging in tax inversion strategies by acquiring a smaller competitor in order to relocate to the company's home country.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 31.13 or 0.17% to 17,792.68, while the NASDAQ Composite index fell 2.44 or 0.05% to 5,102.48, erasing some of their gains from late last week. The S&P 500 Composite index also lost 2.58 or 0.12% to 2,086.59, as six of 10 sectors closed in the red. Stocks in the Utilities, Telecommunications and Technology sectors lagged, each falling by more than 0.50% on the session.

The top performer on the Dow was Home Depot Inc (N:HD), which gained 2.25 or 1.73% to 132.46 after topping analyst expectations with its third quarter results. Last week, Home Depot (N:HD) reported stronger than expected revenues after comparative-store sales surged 7.3% on the quarter. Pfizer closed as the worst performer on the Dow after falling 0.89 or 2.77% to 31.29.

The biggest gainer on the NASDAQ was Autodesk Inc (O:ADSK) which rose 2.08 or 3.44% to 62.63. Last week, Autodesk (O:ADSK) announced that it will open a new 60,000 square office in Toronto, one which will become the software giant's largest office in the world. The worst performer was VimpelCom (O:VIP), which fell 0.27 or 7.14% to 3.45. Shares in the Russian telecom company are still down more than 35% this year.

The top performer on the S&P 500 was Tyson Foods Inc (N:TSN), which soared 4.27 or 9.77% to 47.92 after the largest meat processor in the U.S. reported stronger than expected revenues last quarter. The worst performer was CONSOL Energy Inc (N:CNX), which fell 0.57 or 7.24% to 7.30. Earlier on Monday U.S. crude futures closed slightly lower, paring gains from earlier in the session after Saudi Arabia hinted it could agree to cut crude prices when OPEC meets next week.

Shares in Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (N:CMG) rose 23.69 or 4.42% to 559.88, one session after suffering its worst day in three years when the Centers for Disease Control reported that the Mexican restaurant chain's E. Coli outbreak had spread to six U.S. states.

On the New York Stock Exchange, advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by a 1,565 to 1,490 margin.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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