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Benchmarks closed mostly in the red on Friday after Trump administration failed to get enough support among Republicans to pass the healthcare bill. Republicans pulled their bill due to shortage of votes. The failure to pass the healthcare bill raised doubts over Trump’s ability to push through his economic agenda, including tax reforms. Oil prices, meantime, increased due to a spate of late day activity, but, fell on weekly basis.
For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined 0.3%, to close at 20,596.72. The S&P 500 fell 0.1% to close at 2,343.98. However, the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.2% to close at 5,828.74. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined 1.2% to settle at 12.96. A total of around 2.97 billion shares were traded on the NYSE on Friday. Advancers outpaced declining stocks on the NYSE. For 50% stocks that advanced, 46% declined.
Healthcare Bill Fizzled
Republicans pulled the Healthcare bill after they struggled to secure adequate votes to pass it. Investors remained worried as the failure to pass the bill through the House of Representatives would further delay Trump’s pro-growth agenda including proposed tax cuts, infrastructure spending and deregulation policies. This is likely to have an adverse effect on investor confidence, which in turn is expected to have a negative impact on the broader markets.
However, the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) gained 0.1%. The key biotech index iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (IBB) increased 0.4%. Some of its key holdings including Medtronic plc (MDT) and Celgene Corp (CELG) gained 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively.
In February, durable orders increased by 1.7%, more than the consensus estimate of 1.4%. Durable orders also experienced 0.4% gain excluding the volatile segment of transportation equipment, showing that there has been a positive outlook for the economy.
For the week, the Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Dow declined 1.2%, 1.4% and 1.5% respectively. S&P 500 recorded its worst weekly decline of the year, while the Dow registered its steepest decline since last September. Due to delay and failure of the passage of the healthcare bill, there was an adverse effect on investor sentiments which eventually led the benchmarks to finish in the red. Additionally, there was a record increase in domestic crude inventories, which in turn reduced oil prices and eventually dragged energy stocks down.
Stocks that made Headlines
Will Comcast Offer Nationwide Online TV Services?
Leading cable MSO (multi service operator) and media and entertainment firm Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) has gained the rights to offer online TV services nationwide from several unnamed cable networks, as per a recent Bloomberg report. (Read More)
TransCanada’s Keystone XL Projects Receives Nod from Trump
TransCanada Corporation’s (TRP) Keystone XL pipeline has finally received permission from the Trump administration to continue construction work. (Read More)
Shell to Divest Gabon Oil Assets for $587 Million
Anglo Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A) is paring its African operations, selling assets worth $587 million to Assala Energy Holdings Ltd., which is backed by the global asset manager Carlyle Group L.P. (CG). ( Read More)
Halliburton Adds 2000 Jobs, Likely to Miss Profit Estimates
Oilfield services giant Halliburton Company (HAL) recently announced plans to hire over 2,000 oil field workers by the end of the first quarter, especially in West Texas. (Read More)
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Medtronic PLC (MDT): Free Stock Analysis Report
Celgene Corporation (CELG): Free Stock Analysis Report
Comcast Corporation (CMCSA): Free Stock Analysis Report
TransCanada Corporation (TRP): Free Stock Analysis Report
Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A): Free Stock Analysis Report
The Carlyle Group L.P. (CG): Free Stock Analysis Report
Halliburton Company (HAL): Free Stock Analysis Report
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