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Twitter Surges on Buyout Report

by AFP
Leon Neal—AFP

Leon Neal—AFP

Overall stocks fall in early trade as microblogging site soars despite no imminent sale.

Shares of Twitter surged more than 20 percent on Friday following a report that it is in talks with potential acquirers as U.S. stocks broadly fell in early trade.

The market retreated after strong gains the last two sessions following Wednesday’s Federal Reserve decision to keep interest rates low. About 35 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 18,354.41, down 0.2 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.3 percent to 2,171.80, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.3 percent to 5,324.00. The Nasdaq finished at records on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Twitter soared 20.6 percent after CNBC reported that the microblogging service is in talks with potential acquirers including Google and Salesforce.com. No sale is imminent, according to the report.

Google parent Alphabet shed 0.3 percent, while Salesforce fell 3.7 percent.

Facebook dropped 1.7 after it said it was working to shift its accounting of video views following the disclosure that it had previously counted cases of users watching for as few as three seconds. The disclosure surprised advertisers and raised worries that they may limit their publicity campaigns on the social network.

Yahoo lost 1.6 percent following the Thursday disclosure that it suffered a hack of data affecting at least 500 million users, one of the biggest thefts of personal data ever. Marriott International fell 1.1 percent after announcing it completed its $13.6 billion takeover of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

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