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Wall St little changed as healthcare stocks weigh

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By Anya George Tharakan (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were little changed on Friday as a slide in Amgen dragged down the healthcare sector, offsetting gains in technology shares. The S&P 500 healthcare sector was off 0.4 percent, dragged down by a 6.3 percent drop in Amgen. Analysts said data from a large study testing the impact of Amgen’s cholesterol drug on the heart was weaker than expected. Amgen was also the biggest drag on the broader S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq. However, ten of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the technology sector up 0.21 percent. Adobe gave the biggest push to the sector, rising 6.2 percent after the Photoshop maker’s quarterly results beat analysts’ expectations. At 9:41 a.m. ET (1341 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 13.29 points, or 0.06 percent, at 20,947.84, the S&P 500 was up 1.25 points, or 0.05 percent, at 2,382.63 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.58 points, or 0.03 percent, at 5,899.18. “Today it appears as though we’re going to have another day like yesterday, where the market is looking for something substantial to create the next move,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey. Much of the week’s trading has been predicated on a widely expected quarter-point interest rate hike that the Federal Reserve delivered on Wednesday. The main indexes are on track to mark slight gains since Monday as markets rallied on the Fed’s less hawkish-than-expected rate hike outlook. Investors are also keeping a close eye on the Group of 20 meeting in Germany, where financial leaders and central banks discuss the world economy. Tiffany’s shares rose 3 percent to $92.73, after the company posted a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, boosted by strong demand for its high-end jewelry in Japan and China. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,535 to 1,050. On the Nasdaq, 1,353 issues fell and 989 advanced. The S&P 500 index showed 39 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 64 new highs and 31 new lows. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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