The health-care sector on Thursday turned decidedly lower, dragging the broader market into negative territory, on the heels of news that House Republicans shelved a key vote on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF was off 0.2%, led by sharp 4% drop in Centene Corp. and health-care provider Humana Inc. [HUM], off 1.6%. Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc., finished down 1%, cutting more than 10 points from the Dow Jones Industrial Average . The S&P 500 index closed down around 0.1% at 2,345, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was about 0.1% at 5,817. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF which trades on the Nasdaq exchange was off 0.9%, pressuring the index. The major U.S. equity benchmarks had been trading higher throughout much of the session, as hopes rode higher that President Donald Trump would be able to secure the necessary names to pass a vote to overhaul President Barack Obama's signature health-care law. Market participants have been fretting that Trump's focus on revamping so-called Obamacare would delay the implementation of a raft of pro-growth policies, including tax cuts and an increases to infrastructure spending, which had underpinned a multimonth rally in equities since Trump's Nov. 8 election victory. Thursday's downturn represents a relatively modest move lower, with some anticipating that a vote may occur on Friday or in coming days as the president aims to collect the needed votes to get the bill passed and taken up by the Senate.
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