* Vote scheduled at 4:45 p.m. ET
* Indexes on track for biggest weekly decline of the year
* Micron jumps after rev, profit forecasts beat estimates
* Indexes up: Dow 0.04 pct, S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.53 pct
(Updates to early afternoon)
By Tanya Agrawal
March 24 U.S. stocks pared gains in choppy
trading on Friday as investors braced for the outcome of a vote
on a healthcare bill that is seen as a test of President Donald
Trump's ability to pass his legislative agenda through Congress.
Republican lawmakers struggled to overcome differences over
the bill after Trump walked away from negotiations, telling them
to pass the bill on Friday or keep Obamacare in place.
The back-and-forth over the bill has led to some of the
choppiest trading Wall Street has seen since Trump's election in
November and has set its main indexes on course for their worst
weekly decline of the year.
Investors had worried that a failure of the legislation
would damage prospects for Trump's pro-growth agenda, including
tax reform and stimulus. Earlier this week, U.S. stocks posted
their biggest daily drop since the election on these concerns.
Some of that concern appeared to be ebbing on Friday ahead
of the scheduled vote in the House, with some analysts and
investors seeing a failure of the bill as a catalyst to bring
forward action on tax reform in particular.
Trump warned lawmakers late Thursday that he was prepared to
do just that: move on.
"I think at this point it's really a 'put-up or shut-up'
moment for the Trump administration and what he's done is pretty
bold," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at
Commonwealth Financial Network.
"This is a kind of decision that the market wants to see
Trump make and they're giving him the benefit of the doubt on
it. One way or the other it clears the deck for tax reform.
Trump may very well loose the battle but win the war."
The S&P has risen about 10 percent since Trump's election as
U.S. president on Nov. 8.
At 12:31 p.m. ET (1631 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was up 8.08 points, or 0.04 percent, at
20,664.66, the S&P 500 was up 5.54 points, or 0.2
percent, at 2,351.5 and the Nasdaq Composite was up
31.05 points, or 0.53 percent, at 5,848.74.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the
technology index's 0.68 percent rise leading the
Micron Technology jumped 8.8 percent to $28.78, a day
after the chipmaker's current-quarter revenue and profit
forecasts beat expectations. The stock was the biggest
percentage gainer on the S&P.
Goldman Sachs was down 1.1 percent at $229.38 and was
the biggest drag on the Dow.
Data on Friday showed new orders for key U.S.-made capital
goods unexpectedly fell in February, but shipments surged.
The Commerce Department said non-defense capital goods
orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business
spending plans, dipped 0.1 percent last month after rising 0.1
percent in January.
GameStop tumbled 12.3 percent to $21.05 after the
company's full-year profit forecast fell far below estimates.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,883
to 945. On the Nasdaq, 1,816 issues rose and 873 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 19 new 52-week highs and one new
low, while the Nasdaq recorded 52 new highs and 23 new lows.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil