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US: Wall Street pares losses after Trump meets US company execs

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[BENGALURU] US stocks were off their lows on Monday after President Donald Trump laid out some of his plans to spur economic growth in a meeting with top executives of US companies.

Speaking at the White House, Mr Trump said he could reduce regulations governing companies by 75 per cent or more and promised other advantages for companies that manufacture in the United States.

Investors have been seeking clarity on how Mr Trump plans to execute his ambitious agenda of tax and regulatory reforms and higher infrastructure spending to boost the economy.

"From the standpoint of moving the market, Donald Trump is going to be a trader's dream because he will create market swings, choppy trading and erratic behaviour," said Andre Bakhos, managing director of Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

"We are sitting near all-time highs but there isn't anything fresh from earnings or President Trump that is going to make investors run out and buy stocks."

At 9.42am ET the Dow Jones industrial average was down 12.71 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 19,814.54, the S&P 500 was down 1.62 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 2,269.69 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 3.01 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 5,558.35.

Mr Trump has made it clear that he plans to hold talks with leaders of Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) and intends to withdraw from the 12-nation trade pact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The US dollar hit a six-week low on Monday, while prices of safe-haven gold rose.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with financials and consumer discretionary stocks weighing the most.

Qualcomm dropped 9.2 per cent to US$57.14 after Apple filed a US$1 billion lawsuit against the chip supplier on Friday. Qualcomm was the biggest drag on the S&P and the Nasdaq, while Apple's 0.4 per cent gain gave the indexes their biggest boost.

Dow component McDonald's slipped 1.3 per cent to $120.72 after the fast-food chain's US comparable restaurant sales fell for the first time in six quarters.

Halliburton fell three per cent after the world's No 2 oilfield services provider reported a bigger loss in the latest quarter.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,282 to 1,279. On the Nasdaq, 1,239 issues fell and 999 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed eight new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 32 new highs and 10 new lows.


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