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VOL. 40 | NO. 4 | Friday, January 22, 2016

US stocks waver as energy stocks rise and health care sinks

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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are wavering Thursday morning following a sharp sell-off the day before. The price of oil is climbing for the third consecutive day as key oil-producing nations discuss cuts in production. Biotech stocks are falling after Massachusetts began investigating drug prices.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average added 33 points, or 0.2 percent, to 15,977 as of 11:05 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up 7 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,878. The Nasdaq composite index added 33 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,501.

Energy stocks rose with the price of oil, and strong earnings from Facebook and PayPal sent tech stocks higher. Health care stocks fell.

OIL CLIMBS: The price of oil rose Thursday as the Russian government continued talks with Saudi Arabia and OPEC about cutting production. U.S. crude added 90 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $33.20 a barrel in New York. That's on top of a 6.5 percent climb over the previous two days. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose $1.15, or 3.4 percent, to $35.09 a barrel in London.

Oil prices have been on a long, steep slide as world stockpiles hit enormous levels and investors fear demand will get weaker. Last Wednesday U.S. oil closed at a 12-year low of $26.55 a barrel.

FACEBOOK GETS LIKES: Facebook surged after reporting that its profit more than doubled in the fourth quarter. The social networking site gained another 46 million users, giving it 1.59 billion around the world. The stock rose $12.45, or 13.2 percent, to $106.90.

FEELING SICKLY: Companies that make complex, costly drugs tumbled after the Massachusetts attorney general's office said it is investigating whether the high price of a new hepatitis C drug from Gilead Sciences violates state law. The stocks have fallen in recent months as controversy over drug prices has increased.

Gilead fell $1.45, or 1.6 percent, to $88.18 while cancer drug maker Celgene lost $4.87, or 4.8 percent, to $97.44. The Nasdaq biotech index hit a record high in July and has lost about a third of its value since then.

The broader health care sector also slipped. Abbott Laboratories lost $3.16, or 7.8 percent, to $37.31 after the maker of infant formula, medical devices and drugs posted quarterly profits that disappointed investors.

A GOOD FIT: Sports apparel maker Under Armour climbed $12.06, or 17.6 percent, to $80.64 after it reported a larger-than-expected profit and better revenue than analysts had forecast.

BID LOWER: E-commerce site eBay lost $3.42, or 13 percent, to $23 after its guidance for the current quarter and the year disappointed investors. Its former payment unit PayPal reported strong results and added $2.17, or 6.9 percent, to $33.76.

JUNIPER BURIED: Computer network equipment maker Juniper Networks tumbled after releasing disappointing forecasts for the current quarter. The company also said its chief financial officer was leaving. The stock lost $4.26, or 16.1 percent, to $22.28.

OUT OF STOCK: Equipment rental company United Rentals reported a smaller fourth-quarter profit and less revenue than Wall Street expected. Its stock lost $8.02, or 14.4 percent, to $47.82.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX fell 2.8 percent and France's CAC-40 gave up 2.1 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares lost 1.6 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index gave up early gains to end 0.7 percent lower. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China closed 2.9 percent lower.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged at 2 percent. The euro rose to $1.0935 from $1.0907 late Wednesday. The dollar rose to 118.73 yen from 118.64 yen.

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