U.S. Shares Hold Steady as Health Care Advances, Financials Drop

U.S. stocks held steady, with equities trading near record highs, as investors weighed the likelihood of an interest rate increase next month by the Federal Reserve and interpreted a series of tweets from the President.

The S&P 500 Index lost 0.3 percent to 2,406 at 10 a.m. in New York, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 61 points to 20.972. The S&P 500 closed 0.1 percent lower Tuesday from a record close the previous session, as markets reopened after the long weekend.

  • Health-care shares leading in early trading, up 0.6% on gains in all but seven stocks in the 60-member index
    • Novartis AG Chief Executive Officer Joe Jimenez said he expects President Donald Trump’s administration to outline proposals to lower the burden of drug prices on patients within three months
  • Real estate, staples and utilities trade higher
  • Financial shares down 0.9% for third straight session of losses
  • 10-year Treasury yield unchanged
  • Volume in S&P 500 8.5% below 30-day average; elevated trading in energy and financial stocks
  • VIX up to 10.5
  • POLITICS:
    • President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, agreed Tuesday to turn over a limited number of documents sought by the Senate Intelligence Committee for its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election
    • President Trump tweeted that he will announce a decision on the Paris Climate Accord “over the next few days”
  • ECONOMY:
    • Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said Tuesday that soft inflation could cause her to reassess the path forward for monetary policy should it linger
    • Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan says slack is coming out of the labor market and that should ultimately boost inflation
    • Fed policy makers lifted rates in March and have penciled in two more rate increases in 2017, with traders are pricing in about 91% odds the next comes in June, Fed fund futures show
  • EARNINGS:
    • After-market Wednesday: Hewlett Packard (HPE)
    • Pre-market Thursday: Dollar General (DG)

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