By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Wall Street pared gains sharply on Friday after Donald Trump made his inaugural speech as the 45th president of the United States."From this day forward it is going to be only America first," Trump said after being sworn in, adding that the U.S. policy will be to buy American and hire American. Trump's campaign promises of tax and regulatory reforms and higher infrastructure spending had driven Wall Street to new highs in a post-election rally. However, the Trump trade had been unraveling in recent weeks as investors waited for more clarity on his plans to boost the economy. "Having listened to Trump's speech, there is a concern about what his trade policies will be," said Jamie Cox, managing partner of Harris Financial Group in Colonial Heights, Richmond, Virginia."That's probably the No.1 area where Trump will have to tone down his rhetoric because we do have to work with other nations," said Cox, who was at the inauguration.
The S&P 500 has fallen by a median 2.7 percent in the month after each new president has taken the keys to the White House since Herbert Hoover did so in January 1929, according to a Reuters analysis. The dollar index weakened as Trump spoke, while gold, which was trading lower ahead of the inauguration, moved into positive territory. At 12:33 a.m. ET (1733 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 31.96 points, or 0.16 percent, at 19,764.36.
The S&P 500 was up 1.85 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,265.54 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 3.50 points, or 0.06 percent, at 5,543.59.Eight of the 11 major S&P indexes were higher, with technology giving the biggest bump to the broader index. Industrials, utilities health stocks were the outliers. Among stocks, Procter & Gamble was the top stock on the S&P and the Dow, rising 3.6 percent after the consumer products maker reported quarterly sales and profit above expectations.
Merck rose 3.7 percent to $65.59 after Bristol-Myers said it would not seek accelerated U.S. approval for a combination of its two immunotherapy drugs as an initial treatment for lung cancer, giving Merck an advantage in the lucrative market. Bristol-Myers' stock was down 9.2 percent.Walgreens dropped 2.5 percent after Bloomberg reported that the FTC was not satisfied with its plan to divest stores to win antitrust clearance for its acquisition of Rite Aid. Shares of Rite Aid lost nearly 12 percent on the news. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,787 to 1,021. On the Nasdaq, 1,693 issues rose and 1,044 fell.The S&P 500 index showed 19 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 67 new highs and 26 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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Updated Date: Jan 21, 2017 00:15 AM