A surge in DuPont's stock helped keep the Dow Jones industrial average in positive territory but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq lost ground, with a sharp drop in biotech stocks.
The S&P health index lost 2.33 percent, the worst performer among the ten major S&P sectors. The sector has been under intense scrutiny over high drug prices.
The Nasdaq biotechnology index ended down 3.77 percent, recovering from deeper losses of around 6.6 percent.
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