Stocks end mixed as health bill fal­ters

Trad­ing vol­ume low as in­vestors await an­swers about Trump’s agenda.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Mar­kets

U.S. stocks flirted with big­ger losses but man­aged a mixed fin­ish af­ter Repub­li­cans can­celed a vote on their health care bill be­cause it be­came clear the mea­sure would fail. In­vestors didn’t trade much as they waited for an­swers about the state of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s busi­ness-friendly agenda.

For the sec­ond day in a row, stocks started higher and wilted as it be­came clear the health care bill was in trou­ble. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age dropped as much as 126 points in af­ter­noon trad­ing on re­ports of the bill’s im­pend­ing fail­ure, al­though Wall Street cut its losses af­ter the vote was can­celed. Con­sumer-fo­cused com­pa­nies like Nike, Star­bucks and cloth­ing com­pany PVH rose.

The health care act dom­i­nated the mar­ket for most of this week. Banks and small-com­pany stocks, which made huge gains af­ter Trump was elected, both suf­fered their big­gest losses in more than a year.

Trump and other Repub­li­can lead­ers said they were mov­ing on from health care, and Michael Scan­lon, a port­fo­lio man­ager for Man­ulife As­set Man­age­ment, said in­vestors might be glad if that hap­pens.

“You’re go­ing to see a very quick pivot to cor­po­rate tax re­form,” he said. A cor­po­rate tax cut could give stocks a large boost by in­creas­ing prof­its, and it might also raise tax rev­enue. Af­ter the close of trad­ing, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Repub­li­cans will pro­ceed with tax re­form pro­pos­als, but ac­knowl­edged the health care de­ba­cle will make that task more dif­fi­cult.

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex fin­ished down 1.98 points, or 0.1 per­cent, at 2,343.98. The Dow lost 59.86 points, or 0.3 per­cent, to 20,596.72 as Gold­man Sachs and Boe­ing sank. Tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies inched higher and the Nas­daq com­pos­ite rose 11.05 points, or

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