4 de marzo de 2015 / 17:38 / hace 3 años

US STOCKS-Wall Street lower for 2nd day; healthcare is sole gainer

* ADP misses February expectations, January revised higher

* Markit, ISM services show modest growth

* Healthcare stocks rise after Supreme Court hearing

* Indexes off: Dow 0.47 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.18 pct (Updates to late morning, adds healthcare moves)

By Sinead Carew

NEW YORK, March 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were lower on Wednesday, with indexes on track for a second straight day of declines after a recent rally, with healthcare stocks the only bright spot after a U.S. Supreme Court hearing.

The S&P 500 healthcare index rose 0.31 percent as investors bet that the Supreme Court may lean toward the Obama administration’s view on the Affordable Care Act after it heard a second major challenge to the law.

“I think that hearing assuaged fears - at least for now - that we were headed for overturning of Obamacare,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

The sector’s top gainers were HCA Holdings, Tenet Healthcare and Universal Health Services.

After a sluggish start to 2015, the broader equities market had surged in February, and both the Dow and S&P hit record highs on Monday, when the Nasdaq surpassed the 5,000 level for the first time in 15 years.

“It’s less about the recent economic data and more where we are today, and it’s more about looking forward to monetary policy changing as well,” said Stephen Massocca, chief investment officer at Wedbush Equity Management LLC in San Francisco.

Economic data continued to point to a slowly accelerating U.S. economy, increasing the likelihood the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin to hike interest rates at some point this year.

The ADP National Employment Report showed private employers added 212,000 jobs in February, short of the 220,000 forecast, although January’s reading was revised upward to 250,000 from the initial 213,000.

Readings on the services sector from financial data firm Markit and the Institute for Supply Management both pointed to modest growth.

Investors will deal with a flurry of economic data for the rest of the week, culminating with the Labor Department’s February payrolls report, which will be eyed to help gauge the timing of a rate hike.

At 12:19 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average fell 86.37 points, or 0.47 percent, to 18,117, the S&P 500 lost 8.43 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,099.35 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 8.99 points, or 0.18 percent, to 4,970.92.

Bob Evans Farms shares fell 22.4 percent to $46.30 after the restaurant and packaged food company said it was not looking at selling or spinning off its food-products business and was evaluating strategic options for all or part of its real-estate assets.

Abercombie & Fitch slumped 12.8 percent to $20.92 after the teen apparel retailer said its quarterly profit fell by a third. But fellow apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters jumped 8.3 percent to $16.05 after better-than-expected fourth quarter sales.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,939 to 1,010, for a 1.92-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,553 issues fell and 1,049 advanced, for a 1.48-to-1 ratio.

The S&P 500 was posting 12 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 52 new highs and 40 new lows. (Additional reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch and Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)

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