* Trump says tax plan to come after Obamacare overhaul
* Defense stocks up on Trump's military spending proposal
* Tesla drops on Goldman downgrade, PT cut
* Indexes down: Dow 0.04 pct, S&P 0.01 pct, Nasdaq flat
(Updates to early afternoon)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Feb 27 U.S. stocks struggled to find direction
in early afternoon trading on Monday, shortly after the S&P 500
and the Dow hit record intraday highs on President Donald
Trump's comments of a "big" infrastructure statement on Tuesday.
Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress on
Tuesday evening is being closely watched by investors for clues
on how he planned to carry out his agenda of boosting economic
In a meeting with state governors, Trump said his
administration would be "moving quickly" on regulatory reforms
and that his tax plan would be released after a proposal on
"If we have a market that is willing to accept a roadmap
that says we are going to repeal and replace Affordable Care Act
and then have some form of tax reform by the August recess, I
think the market will continue to be supportive," said Art
Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Equity Capital
Markets in New York.
Trump's promise a few weeks ago of a "phenomenal" tax
announcement helped rekindle a post-election rally, driving the
main U.S. markets to record highs.
But with details scant on how he planned to implement his
agenda, investors have turned wary and the markets have traded
At 12:27 p.m. ET (1727 GMT), the Dow was down 7.78
points, or 0.04 percent, at 20,813.98, the S&P 500 was
down 0.42 points, or 0.01 percent, at 2,366.92 and the Nasdaq
Composite was down 0.21 points, or flat, at 5,845.10.
Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with energy
rising on higher oil prices.
Utilities, consumer staples and telecom
services - defensive plays that were last week's top
performers - were the big losers on Monday.
Among stocks, electric carmaker Tesla fell 4.4
percent to $245.57 after Goldman Sachs downgraded the company's
stock to "sell" from "neutral" and lowered its price target.
Time Warner hit a near 16-year high of $98.31
following a report by the Wall Street Journal that the Federal
Communications Commission chairman said he does not expect the
agency to review AT&T's deal to buy Time Warner.
AT&T slipped 1.3 percent and was the top drag on the S&P
Shares of U.S. defense companies - Boeing, Raytheon
, General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin -
rose after Trump said he would seek to boost Pentagon spending
by $54 billion in his first budget proposal.
La Jolla Pharmaceutical surged nearly 77 percent to
$35.11 following the success of its lead experimental drug in a
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,695
to 1,146. On the Nasdaq, 1,560 issues rose and 1,191 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 51 new 52-week highs and one new
low, while the Nasdaq recorded 100 new highs and 35 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by