* 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 U.S. stocks edged up in choppy trading
on Friday as investors braced for the outcome of a vote on a
healthcare bill and considered how its potential failure might
affect President Donald Trump's broader economic agenda.
Trump's fellow Republicans in Congress said they lacked the
votes needed for passage of their bill to overhaul the U.S.
healthcare system and replace the law known as Obamacare. The
vote was scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EDT/1930 GMT, according to the
The back-and-forth over the bill has led to some of the most
volatile trading Wall Street has seen since Trump's election in
November and has set the benchmark S&P 500 on course for its
worst weekly decline of the year.
Investors have worried that a failure of the legislation
would damage prospects for Trump's agenda, including tax reform,
infrastructure spending and deregulation. Earlier this week, on
Tuesday, U.S. stocks posted their biggest daily drop since the
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.
"Investors are coming to the conclusion that either way the
vote goes or if they delay it further, that they will start
working on the rest of the Trump agenda, and that’s what
investors are interested in," said Alan Lancz, president of
investment advisory firm Alan B. Lancz & Associates in Toledo,
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27.66 points,
or 0.13 percent, to 20,628.92, the S&P 500 gained 1.1
points, 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's
election, notching a series of record highs along the way. But
the rally has stalled recently, and Tuesday's 1.2 percent drop
set off concerns about the beginning of a larger drop.
"The economy and earnings were doing better since before the
election," said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer for
multi-asset strategies and solutions at Voya Investment
Management in New York. "If people want to drop the S&P by 300
points because this doesn’t pass, I and others will be down
there to buy it."
In corporate news, Micron Technology jumped 8.7
percent after the chipmaker's revenue and profit forecasts beat
expectations. The stock was the biggest percentage gainer on the
S&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 a
1.52-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; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 56 new highs and 28 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos in New York and Tanya
Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Nick