* All three indexes on track for first monthly loss since
* Oil prices slip to four-month low
* Sears lower after warning of 'going concern' doubts
* Nike top drag on S&P, Dow
* Dow down 0.18 pct, S&P up 0.03 pct, Nasdaq up 0.24 pct
(Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
March 22 The S&P and the Nasdaq were little
changed in choppy late-morning trading on Wednesday as investors
remained cautious ahead of the first major legislative test of
Donald Trump's presidency.
The Dow was lower, pulled down by a 5.8 percent fall in Nike
after the world's largest footwear maker missed
quarterly revenue estimates.
All the three major indexes were on track for their first
monthly loss since October.
Investors are closely watching the outcome of the healthcare
bill, which Republican party leaders are aiming to move in the
House as early as Thursday, as a signal to how Trump can push
forward his tax cuts and simpler regulation agenda.
Trump on Tuesday tried to rally Republican lawmakers behind
the plan, which will dismantle Obamacare.
Some investors fear that if the healthcare reform act runs
into trouble or takes longer-than-expected to pass, then Trump's
tax reform policies may face setbacks.
The concerns triggered the biggest one-day fall since before
the election on Wall Street on Tuesday.
"I don't think Trump's agenda will be a total failure," said
Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in New
"We look at this as short-term profit taking and scaling
back of time expectations. We're just taking off some of the
Sentiment was also hit by a fall in oil prices, which
touched four-month lows after data showed U.S. crude inventories
rising faster than expected.
U.S. 10-year Treasury yields fell to their lowest level
since the end of February and the gap between U.S. and German
10-year government borrowing costs hit its narrowest since
The S&P 500 has run up about 10 percent since the election
in November, spurred mainly by Trump's agenda of tax cuts and
infrastructure spending, but valuations have emerged as a
The benchmark index is trading at about 18 times forward
earnings estimates against the long-term average of 15,
according to Thomson Reuters data.
"This has been a really long rally and we finally saw a
crack develop yesterday and some people are looking to true-up
their portfolios and rotate a bit," said Nate Thooft, co-head of
global asset allocation at Manulife Asset Management in Boston.
At 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was down 37.66 points, or 0.18 percent, at
20,630.35, the S&P 500 was up 0.81 points, or 0.03
percent, at 2,344.83.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 14.19 points, or 0.24
percent, at 5,808.02.
Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the
telecommunications index's 1.22 percent fall leading
The financial sector, which suffered its worst daily
drop since June on Tuesday, recouped losses and was up 0.11
percent. Bank of America, JPMorgan, Citigroup
and Wells Fargo were up about 0.5 percent.
Gold prices rose to a three-week high and the dollar index
, which measures the greenback against a basket of
currencies, was at 99.69, hovering near the six-week low of
99.64 reached on Tuesday.
Sears Holdings slumped 12.9 percent to $7.92 after
the retailer warned on Tuesday about its ability to continue as
a going concern after years of losses and declining sales.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,814
to 909. On the Nasdaq, 1,759 issues fell and 827.
The S&P 500 index showed eight new 52-week highs and 10 new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 12 new highs and 53 new lows.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)