Dow turns red as healthcare bill vote approaches

Listen to this article

00:00
00:00

Easy come, easy go.

US stocks pared their earlier gains on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average back in the red as the showdown vote on the Republicans’ contentious healthcare reform bill looms.

Markets took a leg lower this afternoon after House Speaker Paul Ryan rushed to the White House for an unscheduled meeting with President Donald Trump.

The move was seen by some in the markets as a sign that Mr Ryan has failed to rally enough votes to push through a bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Divisions within the Republican party over the bill offers a rude reminder that the dysfunction could also cast a pall over Mr Trump’s ability to deliver on his other promises, including the proposed tax reforms and fiscal spending that have underpinned the stock markets’ record breaking run this year.

The Dow is currently down 0.1 per cent, after having climbed as much as 0.3 per cent earlier in the day. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite also pulled back from their session highs. The former is barely clinging to a 1 point gain while the latter saw its 0.7 cent advance cut down to 0.3 per cent.

The dollar – as measured by the DXY index – is heading for its weakest close in seven weeks after falling another 0.1 per cent today.

Despite growing signs that Mr Trump and Mr Ryan could face a humiliating defeat on the bill, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Friday that the vote will go ahead in about an hour’s time, at 3:30pm Eastern time.

So watch this space.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't copy articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.