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US stocks mostly lower, McDonald's unveils China deal

Jan 10 2017 07:27

New York - Wall Street stocks were mostly lower early on Monday following a spate of merger and acquisition announcements, including a big McDonald's divestment in China.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare said the market felt "heavy" after the Dow narrowly missed hitting 20 000 points on Friday.

He cited uncertainty about the upcoming earnings season and worries about the strong dollar as constraints.

"There is a lot swirling in the air, then, which is contributing to a somewhat cautious tone to begin the week, not the least of which is the nagging consideration that the stock market is seemingly due for a period of consolidation," O'Hare said.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 19 902.83, down 0.3%.

The broad-based S&P 500 also lost 0.3% at 2 271.03, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.1% to 5 527.01.

McDonald's advanced 0.2% after announcing it was selling a controlling stake in its China and Hong Kong business for up to $2.1bn to a consortium including state-owned Citic and the Carlyle Group.

The move is part of the fast-food giant's efforts to shake up its international operations to compensate for sluggish sales in the US.

Veterinary and pet-care company VCA surged 28.3% after it announced a deal to be acquired by privately-held Mars for $9.1bn.

Hospital company Surgical Care Affiliates jumped 16.1% on news it will be acquired by UnitedHealth Group for $2.3bn. UnitedHealth shed 0.9%.

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