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US: Stocks fluctuate as investors focus on healthcare bill

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 23:46

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[NEW YORK] The S&P and the Nasdaq were little changed in choppy late-morning trading on Wednesday as investors remained cautious ahead of the first major legislative test of Donald Trump's presidency.

The Dow was lower, pulled down by a 5.8 per cent fall in Nike after the world's largest footwear maker missed quarterly revenue estimates.

All the three major indexes were on track for their first monthly loss since October.

At 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 37.66 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 20,630.35, the S&P 500 was up 0.81 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 2,344.83.

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The Nasdaq Composite was up 14.19 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 5,808.02.

Investors are closely watching the outcome of the healthcare bill, which Republican party leaders are aiming to move in the House as early as Thursday, as a signal to how Trump can push forward his tax cuts and simpler regulation agenda.

Trump on Tuesday tried to rally Republican lawmakers behind the plan, which will dismantle Obamacare.

Some investors fear that if the healthcare reform act runs into trouble or takes longer-than-expected to pass, then Trump's tax reform policies may face setbacks.

The concerns triggered the biggest one-day fall since the election on Wall Street on Tuesday.

REUTERS

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