Wall St flat as losses in financials offset healthcare gains

By Sruthi Shankar Wall Street Reuters

Traders Timothy Nick, left, Peter Tuchman, center, and Gordon Charlop work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, March 16, 2017. U.S. stock indexes took a small step back on Thursday, while bond yields recovered some of their sharp ... losses from the prior day. Stock markets around the world rallied. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Wall Street opened flat on Tuesday as gains in healthcare stocks were largely offset by losses in financials, with an earnings beat from Goldman Sachs failing to cheer investors.

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Goldman Sachs fell 1.6 percent and weighed the most on the Dow while Morgan Stanley rose 1.66 percent.

Both the banks reported third-quarter profit that beat estimates despite continuing weakness in trading revenue.

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UnitedHealth jumped 4.4 percent, lifting the Dow and the S&P the most, after the largest U.S. health insurer's profit beat estimates and it raised full-year earnings forecast.

"The market seems like it's in a holding pattern as investors look for additional evidence to drive it higher," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

"As we get into the meat of earnings season, investors are looking to confirm the valuations of equities."

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At 9:39 a.m. ET (1639 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 12.54 points, or 0.05 percent, at 22,969.5 and the S&P 500 was down 0.09 points, or flat percent wise, at 2,557.55.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 3.38 points, or 0.05 percent, at 6,620.63.

The three major U.S. stock indexes rose to record closing highs on Monday, with the Dow coming within 50 points of the 23,000 mark.

The dollar and U.S. treasury yields took comfort from news that U.S. President Donald Trump might pick Stanford University economist John Taylor to lead the Federal Reserve after Janet Yellen's term ends next year.

The former Fed board member is seen as more hawkish than Yellen and other names being considered to take over the central bank.

Johnson & Johnson gained 1.08 percent and lifted the healthcare sector 0.6 percent after posting a better-than-expected profit as the company gained from strong sales of its new cancer drugs.

Technology stocks were also down, led by a 0.33 percent fall in Apple, a day after it gained 1.5 percent.

Seven of the 11 major S&P indexes were lower, led by a 0.37 percent drop in telecom services index.

Boeing's 1 percent decline, after Airbus SE agreed to take a majority stake in Bombardier's CSeries jetliner program, weighed on the industrial sector .

Netflix fell 1.25 percent after rising 2.3 percent in premarket as the online video streaming service added more subscribers than expected in the third quarter.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,311 to 1,158. On the Nasdaq, 1,248 issues fell and 1,011 advanced. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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