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US STOCKS-Wall St edges up as healthcare bill in doubt

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* Vote on legislation set for 3:30 pm ET, White House says * S&P 500 on track for biggest weekly decline of the year * Micron jumps after forecasts beat estimates, helps Nasdaq * Dow down 0.13 pct, S&P up 0.05 pct, Nasdaq up 0.32 pct (Updates to late afternoon) By Lewis Krauskopf March 24 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks edged up in choppy tradingon Friday as investors braced for the outcome of a vote on ahealthcare bill and considered how its potential failure mightaffect President Donald Trump’s broader economic agenda. Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress said they lacked thevotes needed for passage of their bill to overhaul the system and replace the law known as Obamacare. Thevote was scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EDT/1930 GMT, according to theWhite House. The back-and-forth over the bill has led to some of the mostvolatile trading Wall Street has seen since Trump’s election inNovember and has set the benchmark S&P 500 on course for itsworst weekly decline of the year. Investors have worried that a failure of the legislationwould damage prospects for Trump’s agenda, including tax reform,infrastructure spending and deregulation. Earlier this week, onTuesday, U.S. stocks posted their biggest daily drop since theelection. Some of that concern appeared to be ebbing on Friday aheadof the scheduled vote in the House, with some analysts andinvestors seeing a failure of the bill as a catalyst to bringforward action on tax reform in particular. “Investors are coming to the conclusion that either way thevote goes or if they delay it further, that they will startworking on the rest of the Trump agenda, and that’s whatinvestors are interested in,” said Alan Lancz, president ofinvestment advisory firm Alan B. Lancz & Associates in Toledo,Ohio. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27.66 points,or 0.13 percent, to 20,628.92, the S&P 500 gained 1.1points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,347.06 and the Nasdaq Composite added 18.61 points, or 0.32 percent, to 5,836.30. The S&P 500 has climbed about 10 percent since Trump’selection, notching a series of record highs along the way. Butthe rally has stalled recently, and Tuesday’s 1.2 percent dropset off concerns about the beginning of a larger drop. “The economy and earnings were doing better since before theelection,” said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer formulti-asset strategies and solutions at Voya InvestmentManagement in New York. “If people want to drop the S&P by 300points because this doesn’t pass, I and others will be downthere to buy it.” In corporate news, Micron Technology jumped 8.7percent after the chipmaker’s revenue and profit forecasts beatexpectations. The stock was the biggest percentage gainer on theS&P and helped lift the Nasdaq. GameStop tumbled 12.3 percent after the company’s profit projection fell below estimates. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a1.52-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.53-to-1 ratio favored advancers. The S&P 500 posted 19 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; theNasdaq Composite recorded 56 new highs and 28 new lows. (Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos in New York and TanyaAgrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and NickZieminski)

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