Drug and Financial Stocks Under Pressure as Wall Street Stalls

Drug and Financial Stocks Under Pressure as Wall Street Stalls

US stock prices closed lower today, as drug and financial shares sent both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average to their first consecutive sessions of declines in more than a month.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 29.58 points, or 0.14 percent, to 20,924.76, the S&P 500 lost 6.92 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,368.39 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 15.25 points, or 0.26 percent, to 5,833.93.

Pharmaceutical stocks came under pressure after US. President Donald Trump tweeted he was working on a "new system" to reduce drug prices in the industry, without providing details. Trump also backed a draft bill unveiled by Republicans on Monday to repeal and replace the Obamacare healthcare law, but said the bill was open to negotiation.

The S&P 500 healthcare index fell 0.7 percent while the NYSE Arca pharmaceutical index declined 0.9 percent, its worst performance since Jan. 24. Financials, the best performing S&P sector since the November election, slipped 0.3 percent, pulled lower by losses in Wells Fargo  and JPMorgan.

Newly minted shares of Snapchat owner Snap Inc plunged 9.8 percent to $21.44 after analysts gave the company a lukewarm reception following its red-hot market debut, attracting short-sellers.

Investors were also preparing for the likelihood of an interest rate hike when the US Federal Reserve meets next week. A number of key officials, including Chair Janet Yellen, have made comments indicating a hike is likely at its March 14-15 meeting.

US.Treasury yields rose, supporting the dollar, as investors made room for this week's supply of government debt and also in anticipation of a Fed rate hike later this month. The monthly US. jobs report, due on Friday, is expected to show an increase of 190,000 jobs, probably enough to push the Fed to raise its base rate again for the second time in four months.

The market seems to be taking in stride expectations the Fed will raise rates, unlike past years, 

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