Extending previous session’s southward journey, the US markets ended the volatile day of trade mostly in red on Friday. The volatility on Wall Street came as the House prepared to vote on a Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. Late in the trading day, House Republican leaders decided to withdraw the bill amid indications of a lack of support. The move came despite vigorous efforts by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to build support for the legislation. A number of more conservative lawmakers opposed the bill amid criticism that it did not go far enough to repeal the provisions of Obamacare. Moderate Republicans were also concerned about predictions the plan would cause millions of people to lose their insurance. Even if the Republican healthcare bill had been approved by the House, the legislation was expected to face an even tougher uphill battle in the Senate. The inability to advance the bill could cast doubt on Trump’s ability to deliver on promises of increased infrastructure spending, tax cuts and deregulation.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing a bigger than expected increase in durable goods orders in the month of February. The report said durable goods orders jumped by 1.7 percent in February after surging up by a revised 2.3 percent in January. The street had expected orders to climb by 1.2 percent compared to the 2.0 percent spike that had been reported for the previous month. Excluding orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders rose by 0.4 percent in February after edging up by 0.2 percent in January. The increase fell short of estimates for 0.6 percent growth.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 59.86 points or 0.29 percent to 20,596.72 and S&P 500 was down by 1.98 points or 0.08 percent to 2,343.98, while Nasdaq was up 11.04 points or 0.19 percent to 5,828.74.
The Indian ADRs closed mostly in green; HDFC Bank surged 1.28%, Tata Motors gained 1.07% and Infosys was up 0.43%. On the other hand, Dr. Reddy’s Lab was down by 3.46%.