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After healthcare loss, investor faith wavers as Trump turns to taxes


U.S. stocks slid on Monday amid concerns that Republican President Donald Trump may struggle to push a sweeping overhaul of the tax code through Congress in the wake of his party's failure last week to pass broad healthcare legislation. Trump's pledge to cut taxes, including a lowering of the rates paid by corporations, was a pillar of his 2016 presidential campaign and provided much of the fuel for the heady stock market rally that followed his Nov. 8 victory. The White House has sought to refocus attention on that part of Trump's agenda since the collapse on Friday of a Republican bill to reshape the U.S. healthcare system largely by gutting Democratic former President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare law."The markets aren't really concerned about healthcare," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas. "What the markets are concerned about is tax policy. So now the more important issue has come to the forefront. The question is, will they be able to get that done? I don't know."The major U.S. stock indexes were down, with the S&P 500 0.3 percent lower, while benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were up 11/32 in price for a yield of 2.36 percent after hitting a one-month low in yield earlier.

Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a research note that a tax bill, "if passed at all, could be a very watered-down version of current proposals."The U.S. tax code has not undergone a major overhaul since 1986 during Republican former President Ronald Reagan's administration, and there is tacit acknowledgement in both parties that some changes are needed, especially in terms of easing the burdens of middle-class Americans. Democrats, however, are opposed to tax cuts for the rich. They also fought Republican former President George W. Bush's tax changes that they said rewarded the wealthiest Americans.

That means Republicans, who control Congress and the White House for the first time in a decade, may have to vote as a bloc to pass the tax plan that investors would most want, something far less certain after the healthcare bill debacle. Trump and House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan were unable to keep Republican lawmakers in line for the healthcare legislation. They pulled it off the House floor after a rebellion by the most conservative Republican lawmakers who argued that parts of it were too similar to the Obamacare law it was meant to replace as well as moderates who worried about the number of Americans who would lose health insurance.

Trump's son-in-law to oversee government revamp: official WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday will announce that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will oversee a broad effort to overhaul the federal government, a White House official confirmed.

Israel's Netanyahu pledges to work with Trump on peace efforts WASHINGTON Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday he was committed to working with U.S. President Donald Trump to advance peace efforts with the Palestinians and with the broader Arab world.

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Wall Street off as Trump agenda weighed; Dow down for eighth day


The S&P 500 cut earlier losses on Monday to end slightly lower, while the Dow declined for an eighth straight session, as investors assessed how the defeat of President Donald Trump's first major legislative action would impact the rest of his agenda. With stocks soaring to record highs after Trump's election, investors are concerned about the fate of his economic plan, including tax reform and infrastructure spending. Congressional Republicans pulled their healthcare overhaul bill on Friday after failing to gather enough votes. But some analysts and investors are hopeful the healthcare bill's failure will pave the way for quicker action on legislation deemed desirable by investors, namely tax reform.“Tax legislation done right and done quickly is a big stimulant to earnings and the market," said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia."The idea that tax legislation will come much quicker than it would have if the healthcare legislation passed is positive, and I think people are grasping onto that as a reason to hang on and buy more," Tuz said. The Dow Jones Industrial Average . DJI fell 45.74 points, or 0.22 percent, to 20,550.98, the S&P 500 . SPX lost 2.39 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,341.59 and the Nasdaq Composite . IXIC added 11.64 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,840.37.

The Dow's eighth straight decline marked its longest such streak in nearly six years. The benchmark S&P 500 had fallen as much as 0.9 percent initially on Monday and briefly dropped below its 50-day moving average for the first time since just after the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election. The S&P 500 has climbed 9.4 percent since Trump's election, but the rally has stalled recently.

“What we have seen the last three years, every time there’s a drastic down move, the market has been so resilient," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa. "It’s just incredible what type of short-term memory this U.S. market has and the buying appetite global investors have for the U.S. market."The telecoms sector . SPLRCL fell 0.7 percent while financial shares . SPSY dropped 0.5 percent. Healthcare . SPXHC climbed 0.4 percent, helped by hospital stocks after the healthcare bill's failure.

In corporate news, Snap Inc

A trader looks at screens while working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Trump tax plan faces rockier road after stinging healthcare loss WASHINGTON Following the failure of a healthcare bill backed by President Donald Trump, his administration plans to take a lead role in crafting major legislation to cut taxes with an eye toward meeting an August target date, the White House said on Monday.

Asset sales plan secures EU backing for $130 bln Dow, DuPont merger Dow Chemical and DuPont won the blessing of the European Union for their $130 billion merger on Monday by agreeing to sell substantial assets including key research and development activities.

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