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Wall Street falls as some post-election gainers reverse

By Caroline Valetkevitch
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as financials and other big post-election gainers lost ground.

Biotech and pharma stocks declined after President-elect Donald Trump said in a Washington Post interview over the weekend that he would target companies over drug pricing and that he was ready to unveil a plan to replace Obamacare. The Nasdaq biotech index .NBI was down 2 percent.

The S&P 500 financial index .SPSY, which has rallied since the election on expectations of higher interest rates and reduced regulation under Trump, was down 2.3 percent, leading sector losses.

Morgan Stanley (MS.N) shares fell 3.9 percent even though its profit doubled in the fourth quarter.

“You’re getting some giveback to the areas that have really done well with the Trump election. Some of that is a feeling he’s starting to take on a lot of targets,” said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City.

Investors also awaited quarterly earnings to begin in full force, with other major banks due to report this week.

At 2:33 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 69.18 points, or 0.35 percent, to 19,816.55, the S&P 500 .SPX had lost 7.91 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,266.73 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC had dropped 37.43 points, or 0.67 percent, to 5,536.69.

U.S. stocks have surged since Trump’s election on bets that he would usher in an era of economic growth through fiscal stimulus. However, the rally has hit a speed bump ahead of Friday’s inauguration as investors are increasingly nervous of what his policies could mean to world trade.

A 1.3 percent rise in consumer staples .SPLRCS offset some of the day’s losses. Wal-Mart (WMT.N) rose 1.8 percent after the retailer said it would create 10,000 jobs in the United States this year.

A trade war between the U.S. and China and a strengthening dollar are among the biggest threats to a brightening global economic outlook, said leading economists at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The dollar index .DXY fell 0.8 percent after Trump told the Wall Street Journal that the strength of the currency was hurting competitiveness of U.S. companies.

(Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru and Sinead Carew in New York; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Nick Zieminski)

Reuters