While you were sleeping: UPDATED Dow extends longest slide since 2011

Wall Street's longest losing streak since 2011 continued as investors digested the implications of the Trump administration's decision to withdraw its healthcare reform plan on pledges of a tax overhaul and infrastructure spending.

US Treasuries gained, sending yields on the 10-year note six basis points lower to 2.373%, the lowest in a month. Gold, another safe-haven asset, advanced 0.6% to $US1255.40 an ounce. US crude oil prices fell 0.5% to $US47.73 a barrel.

"It is less of a panic sell and more of digesting the information and looking beyond the healthcare reform act to the next bit of information, which is going to be tax reform and spending on infrastructure," Mark Watkins, regional investment manager at the Private Client Group at US Bank, told Reuters.

At the close of trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 45.74 points, or 0.2%, to 20,550.98. The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 0.1% to 2341.59 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.2% to 5840.37.

"With the economy continuing to improve, I would look at any pullback as a buying opportunity at this point in time," Watkins noted.

Some analysts say the Trump administration's failure on the healthcare bill suggests they face an even tougher road ahead for tax reform.

"The consensus on [the tax reform] is probably likely to be much more difficult to achieve than on health care, which suggests that a lot of the optimism about the reflation and fiscal stimulus trade may well have to be reassessed as well," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, wrote in a note, Bloomberg reported.

The Dow's 1.9% decline over the past eight sessions is a far cry from the 6.7% it lost during its previous slide of that length in 2011 when the U.S. government was embroiled in a debt impasse, 

Du Pont, Dow Chemical rise
The Dow fell as declines in shares of Chevron and those of Verizon Communications, down 1.6% and 1.3% respectively, outweighed gains in shares of DuPont and those of Intel, up 1.4% and 0.7% respectively.

Shares of DuPont posted the largest percentage gain in the Dow in afternoon trading, while Dow Chemical shares rose after the companies received the green light for their mega merger from the European Commission by agreeing to sell assets, notably major parts of DuPont's global pesticide business.

The approval is conditional in particular on the divestiture of major parts of DuPont's global pesticide business, including its global R&D organisation, the EC said in a statement.

"Pesticides are products that matter-to farmers, consumers and the environment," European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in the statement.

"We need effective competition in this sector so companies are pushed to develop products that are ever safer for people and better for the environment."

 

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the session with a 0.45 decline from the previous close. France's CAC 40 Index slipped less than 0.1%, while the UK's FTSE 100 Index slid 0.6%, as did Germany's DAX Index.

(BusinessDesk)

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