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US stocks drop again, health shares hit

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AFP New York
Wall Street stocks tumbled early today, with Apple and health care shares among the losers as investors weighed whether the torrid rally that opened 2018 is petering out.

After a wave of records in the first weeks of the year, the early losses added to declines posted in yesterday's session.

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.8 per cent to 26,225.40.

The broad-based S&P 500 also dropped 0.8 per cent to 2,834.81, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.8 percent as well to 7,409.73.

Investors are cautious ahead of major market-moving events this week, including a Federal Reserve decision Wednesday, President Donald Trump's State of the Union Address late Tuesday, the January jobs report Friday, and earnings from Apple, Facebook and other titans.

The pullback reflected the sentiment Monday which showed the "prudent approach ahead of some key risk events was to take some profits," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare said.

"An overextended market is hitting a wall, and the price-action momentum is cutting the other way for the time being as the market is correcting (or gets corrected) for its January excess."

But there were some developments impacting the market beyond simple caution. Apple fell 1.2 percent following reports it has cut production of its pricey IPhone X due to weak demand.

And health care shares sank on news business giants Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase are creating a company to address runaway health care costs.

Insurers such Cigna and Dow member UnitedHealth Group lost more than four percent, pharmacy chain CVS Health tumbled nearly five percent and pharmaceutical giants Merck and Pfizer both lost about one per cent.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

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First Published: Jan 30 2018 | 10:40 PM IST

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