Wall St. pares losses after Trump meets U.S. company executives

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By Yashaswini Swamynathan
U.S. stocks were off their lows on Monday after President Donald Trump laid out some of his plans to spur economic growth in a meeting with top executives of U.S. companies.

Speaking at the White House, Trump said he could reduce regulations governing companies by 75 percent or more and promised other advantages for companies that manufacture in the United States.

Investors have been seeking clarity on how Trump plans to execute his ambitious agenda of tax and regulatory reforms and higher infrastructure spending to boost the economy.

“From the standpoint of moving the market, Donald Trump is going to be a trader’s dream because he will create market swings, choppy trading and erratic behavior,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director of Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“We are sitting near all-time highs but there isn’t anything fresh from earnings or President Trump that is going to make investors run out and buy stocks.”

At 9:42 a.m. ET the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 12.71 points, or 0.06 percent, at 19,814.54, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 1.62 points, or 0.07 percent, at 2,269.69 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 3.01 points, or 0.05 percent, at 5,558.35.

Trump has made it clear that he plans to hold talks with leaders of Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and intends to withdraw from the 12-nation trade pact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The dollar .DXY hit a six-week low on Monday, while prices of safe-haven gold rose.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with financials .SPSY and consumer discretionary .SPLRCD stocks weighing the most.

Qualcomm (QCOM.O) dropped 9.2 percent to $57.14 after Apple (AAPL.O) filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the chip supplier on Friday. Qualcomm was the biggest drag on the S&P and the Nasdaq, while Apple’s 0.4 percent gain gave the indexes their biggest boost.

Dow component McDonald’s (MCD.N) slipped 1.3 percent to $120.72 after the fast-food chain’s U.S. comparable restaurant sales fell for the first time in six quarters.

Halliburton (HAL.N) fell 3 percent after the world’s No. 2 oilfield services provider reported a bigger loss in the latest quarter.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,282 to 1,279. On the Nasdaq, 1,239 issues fell and 999 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed eight new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 32 new highs and 10 new lows.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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