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US: Pharma, hospital shares hit as stocks fall

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[NEW YORK] Hospital companies and pharmaceuticals were among the losers on Wall Street on Tuesday as US stocks fell with the introduction of the Republican health-care proposal in Congress.

The bill, which would dismantle several core aspects of former president Barack Obama's health law, drew criticism from progressives and some leading conservatives, raising questions about its prospects.

Still, hospital companies Universal Health Services and Tenet Healthcare lost 2.3 per cent and 7.2 per cent, respectively, on worries about cutbacks.

Pharmaceutical stocks also retreated after President Donald Trump said he was working on a system to boost price competition. Pfizer, Mylan and Celgene all lost at least one per cent.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.1 per cent to 20,924.76.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.3 per cent to 2,368.39 ,while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.3 per cent at 5,833.93.

US stocks fell for the second session in a row, reflecting cautiousness ahead of key US jobs data to be released later in the week and in light of concerns the health-care debate and other controversies will delay tax cuts and other growth measures sought by the market.

Snap, the parent of Snapchat, tumbled 9.8 per cent in the second consecutive day of weakness after the social network's market debut last week.

Nimble Storage surged 46.3 per cent after Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced it had reached a deal to buy the data storage company for US$1 billion. Hewlett Packard Enterprise lost 1.0 per cent.

Dick's Sporting Goods slumped 8.6 per cent after reporting earnings that missed its forecast following US$93 million in charges related to write-downs and store closings.

AFP

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