U.S. Shares Down as Rising Oil Price

U.S. stocks  were down on Monday, weighed by technology stocks’ lagging and concerns over elevating oil prices.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.7% to 12,090.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 1.4% to 745.63. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index tumbled 0.8% to 1,310.13, led by technology stocks.


The technology stocks  were hurt as analysts downgrade this sector and investors feared rising energy prices could affect the industry.


Shares of Intel Corp. lost 1.6% after Wells Fargo & Co. cut its views of the semiconductor sector.


Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. and Boeing Co. shed 1.1% and 1.3% respectively.


Shares of Western Digital Corp. soared 16% after its agreement to buy Hitachi’s hard-disk-drive business.


Shares of Ciena Corp. lost 10% after it posted loss in the first quarter due to a surge in operating expenses.


Crude oil prices climbed to $ 105.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In Asia, oil prices jumped to above $ 106 a barrel Monday amid the escalating conflict in Libya. Conflict in Libya was escalating. It was feared that the country’s output had been slashed much. Since the uprising last month, the output has fallen by at least 1 million barrels per day. Traders are closely watching this country.


Political unrest continued to shake the world’s key oil producing region. In the Middle East, Bahrain, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia make up over 60 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves.


Traders also worried about the situation in Saudi Arabia. In a research note, Societe Generale said that unless supplies from Saudi Arabia were continued, oil could reach $ 200 per barrel.


Analysts at Citigroup Global Markets projected Brent crude to rise to an average of $ 105 in 2011.


The U.S. dollar strengthened slightly against the euro which was trading at $ 1.3970, down from $ 1.3990 late Friday in New York. Gold futures closed at $ 1,434.50 an ounce.