Stocks slip as Wall Street focuses on health-care bill

Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 237.71 points, or 1.14 percent, to 20,668.15, the S&P 500 lost 29.49 points, or 1.24 percent, to 2,343.98 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 107.70 points, or 1.83 percent, to 5,793.83.

In Asia, shares declined on Wednesday in morning session following Wall Street amid uncertainty over prospects for the United States president's policies.

Yesterday, a sharp and sudden sell-off for U.S financial stocks led the S&P 500 to decline more than 1% for the first time since Oct 2016.

The S&P 500 and the Dow ended lower after FBI Director James Comey told a congressional hearing he had seen no evidence to support a claim by Trump that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped his campaign headquarters in Trump Tower in NY. "That takes a little out of the higher rates that the banks want". Expectations of those tax cuts are a major reason for the 10-percent surge in the S&P 500 since Trump's election in November.

Investors see the Trump administration's struggles to push through his healthcare legislation overhaul as a sign he may face setbacks delivering the proposed corporate tax cuts.

"Republicans should have prioritized tax reform ahead of healthcare reform". The yield on the 10-year US note, which moves inversely to its price, was down to a three-week low of 2.42% and the short term two-year note yield dipped to 1.26%.

The Russell 2000 index of smallcap stocks was down 2.03 percent, on pace for its worst day since September.

"They're coming across as a motley crew rather than a party that can get things done". The financial sector has been the best performing of the 11 major S&P sectors since Trump's election, surging 18 percent.

Sydney was 1.6 percent lower, Singapore shed 1.2 percent and Seoul slipped 0.5 percent.

Apple rose 1.05 per cent to a record-high close of $141.46 after Cowen & Co upgraded its price target on the stock. The S&P 500 is trading at almost 18 times expected earnings, compared with a 10-year average of 14, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.52-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.57-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

Stocks in the S&P 500 posted 27 new 52-week highs and seven new lows.

  • Salvatore Jensen