Wall Street alternates on biotech with Greece still in mind; European shares end lower

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US stocks dropped, with the exception of Nasdaq, despite recovery from early losses on strength in the biotech sector after Gilead Sciences unveiled a large stock-buyback programme, as well as in large-cap tech firms.

The three major US stock indexes initially opened lower, easing from the previous session's hefty gains as concerns lingered about how Greece will get its budget deficit under control.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 36.88 points, or 0.34 percent, at 10,748.26. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 3.94 points, or 0.34 percent, at 1,155.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.64 points, or 0.03 percent, at 2,375.31.

European shares slipped, led lower by banks. After losing more than 2 percent during the session, stocks trimmed losses in late trade.

Banking stocks led the losers, with the STOXX Europe 600 banking index slipping 1.7 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares provisionally closed down 0.4 percent at 1,034.99 points after jumping 7.4 percent yesterday on euphoria over the euro zone's $1 trillion rescue package.

Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei average slipped 1.1 percent, as euphoria over a $1 trillion package to prevent the spread of Europe's debt crisis dissipated and as Mizuho Financial fell on news of a big share offering.

The benchmark Nikkei fell 119.60 points to 10,411.10, after earlier rising as much as 1.1 percent to 10,643.28.  

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