Stock Market Lulls on the Back of Slipping Financial and Healthcare Companies

Though industrial company stocks continue to waver up and down, the US stock market fell Friday on the backs of sliding financial and healthcare companies. Indeed, banks fell as both bond yields and interest rates slid early in the day with energy companies falling in accordance with oil prices.

On the other side, strong turns from Honeywell and aviation electronics maker Rockwell Collins contributed in helping pull up industrial firms. In addition, popular toy maker Mattel plummeted after reporting its second straight quarterly slump in a row; though all stocks did climb, slightly, in the final minutes of the trading day, putting the Standard & Poor’s 500 index up just 1 percent on the week.

As such, US President Donald Trump gave the stock market a last minute boost, in the afternoon, when he announced his administration would release a tax reform proposal with a large tax cut, as early as next week. That, however, is all the details he would provide.

With that, Wells Fargo Investment Institute senior global strategist Scott Wren comments that none of this, necessarily, means anything bad is going to happen or that the administration is going to need to implement new measures anytime soon.

Overall, the S&P 500 fell more than 7 points (about 3 percent) to 2,348.69. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 31 points (about 2 percent) to 20,547.76. The Nasdaq composite index fell more than 6 points (only about 0.1 percent) to 5,910.52. Finally, the Russell 2000 index fell 4.3 points (about 0.3 percent) to 1,379.85.

In addition, though, financial companies also fell. Professional firms—like Marsh & McLennan, for example—fell nearly 2 percent, to $71.88. Wealth management company Morgan Stanley also saw a decline: about 1.6 percent, to $41.80. Bank of America also fell about 1.6 percent, to $22.70.

But, again, it was healthcare declines that really drove this drop. Biotech drugmaker Alexion Pharmaceuticals, for example, fell about 1.6 percent, to $116.82 while Merck dropped 1.1 percent to $61.89. Furthermore, pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts 0.9 percent to $66.46.

All that in mind, Wren attests, “The stock market’s been willing to wait to see what, if anything, comes out of Washington,” adding that stock prices still are not too high, even with some of the record-breaking runs, of late.

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