'Star Wars' lifts Disney as US stocks dip

 28 Dec 2015 - 18:16

'Star Wars' lifts Disney as US stocks dip
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: A general view shows the entrance to the red carpet at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at the Dolby Theatre on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

New York: Disney shares jumped on "Star Wars" record ticket sales and Amazon gained on higher holiday subscriptions as US stocks dropped early Monday in the first session of a holiday-shortened week.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,498.58, down 53.59 points (0.31 percent).

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 8.58 (0.42 percent) to 2,052.41, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 20.08 (0.40 percent) to 5,028.41.

Dow member Disney rose 2.1 percent as its blockbuster "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" passed the $1 billion mark in ticket sales in record time. 

Amazon tacked on 1.2 percent as it announced adding three million customers to its Prime subscription service worldwide in the third week of December to cap a record holiday season.

The drop in the broader market came as oil prices resumed their downward tilt after a brief rally last week. US oil prices, which rose in the three prior three sessions, opened down 89 cents at $37.21 a barrel in New York.

Dow members ExxonMobil and Chevron fell 1.2 percent and 2.3 percent, while driller Transocean shed 2.8 percent and Halliburton lost 2.1 percent.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International fell 8.5 percent following the announcement that chief executive Michael Pearson was on medical leave after being hospitalized with severe pneumonia. The company created a new Office of the Chief Executive staffed by three officials to manage affairs on an interim basis.

Tech wearables company Fitbit rose 3.7 percent as it ranked first in the iTunes App store of free mobile applications, ahead of Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.