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By Rodrigo Campos and Kimberly Chin
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed little changed in low volume on Monday as gains in utilities and consumer stocks offset declines in healthcare, with earnings news filtering out winners and losers across the board.
After the closing bell, Netflix
Procter & Gamble
Health stocks on the S&P 500 <.SPXHC> slipped, partly weighed down by a delay in the U.S. Senate's consideration of healthcare legislation after news over the weekend that Arizona Republican Senator John McCain would remain in his home state next week following a medical procedure.
"I think we've got to see some dry ink on the healthcare bill before you can make broad bets on that sector," said Erick Ormsby, CEO of Alcosta Capital Management in San Ramon, California.
"[A] bulk of funds will come in as we see clarity on [the] healthcare bill."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 8.02 points, or 0.04 percent, to 21,629.72, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 0.13 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,459.14 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 1.97 points, or 0.03 percent, to 6,314.43.
The S&P health sector fell 0.3 percent while utilities gained 0.4 percent and the consumer discretionary sector rose 0.26 percent.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.28-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.09-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
In what could be the slowest full session by volume so far this year, about 5.16 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, compared with the 6.51 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos and Kimberly Chin; Editing by Nick Zieminski)