After choppy day, S&P, Dow end lower

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The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day lower and the Nasdaq Composite pulled back from it session high on Friday as investors digest news that the long awaited House vote on healthcare reform has been postponed.

Following a frenetic final hour of trading that saw stocks fluctuate between losses and gains, the S&P 500 closed down 0.1 per cent at 2,342.98 while the Dow ended the session 0.3 per cent lower at 20,596.72.

The Nasdaq, helped by the rally in tech stocks, saw its earlier gains of 0.7 per cent cut down to just 0.2 per cent.

Stocks have started out the day in the black as investors appeared to have moved on from healthcare to focus on tax reforms.

But those positions quickly reversed amid growing signs that the bill will not get the votes needed to pass, renewing concerns over Mr Trump’s ability to deliver on his other reforms.

The moves leave the S&P 500 down 1.4 per cent for the week — it’s worst five day stretch since the week before the presidential election in November. Meanwhile, the Dow clocked a weekly decline of 1.52 per cent — the biggest since September.

The setback on healthcare suggests that the Trump administration’s tax reforms could also face a tougher road ahead.

“…the timing and magnitude could be different as we are now witnessing the difficulties arising in passing healthcare legislation,” said Charlie Ripley, Investment Strategist for Allianz Investment Management. “Ultimately, because of procedural process, the runway to pass legislation appears longer to us than other investors may view.”

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