Trump pledges to bring back jobs spur Wall Street recovery

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 22, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Wall Street pared losses in midday trading on Thursday, after President Donald Trump told chief executives of major U.S. companies that he plans to bring back millions of jobs to the United States.

Trump is expected to introduce a series of proposals that could benefit companies, including tax reforms, simpler regulation and higher infrastructure spending.

Investors, however, are awaiting for more clarity on the proposals, with the main indexes trading in a tight range.

Even though the S&P 500 hit a series of record highs in the past two weeks, the index has not moved more than 1 percent in either direction since Dec. 7.

At 12:37 p.m. ET (1737 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 64.35 points, or 0.31 percent, at 20,839.95, while the S&P 500 was up 2.31 points, or 0.09 percent, at 2,365.13. The two indexes hit record-highs earlier in the day.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 24.37 points, or 0.42 percent, at 5,836.26 – set for its worst day this month.

Five of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with industrials and technology weighing the most. The indexes were among the top gainers since the November U.S. presidential election.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of the quarter we get some repositioning, especially in those sectors that have gained the most,” said Omar Aguilar, chief investment officer at Charles Schwab Investment Management.

Nvidia was the top drag on the S&P and the Nasdaq after a top-rated analyst downgraded the chipmaker’s stock.

L Brands plunged 16.7 percent to $48.39 after the company reported weak sales at Victoria’s Secret, its biggest business by revenue.

Boston Scientific lost 3.4 percent after the company recalled its Lotus Valve heart devices, citing reports of problems with the locking mechanism. Shares of rival Edwards Lifesciences rose 4 percent and were the biggest gainers on the S&P.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,538 to 1,306. On the Nasdaq, 1,657 issues fell and 1,099 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 58 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 109 new highs and 29 new lows.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)


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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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