Major US equity indices opened with mild bearish bias on Thursday, but struggled for a firm direction as investors remain cautious ahead of an important vote on Trump's health-care bill.
Today's House vote on the Trump-backed GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would provide clarity on Trump's ability to deliver on his promises of tax cuts and infrastructure spending. A failure to pass the bill, or delaying it, would seriously dent investors' confidence and might trigger another round of sell-off in the equity markets.
Meanwhile, a fresh bout of selling pressure in oil markets, with WTI crude oil weakening back below $48.00/barrel mark, also collaborated to the mildly bearish trading sentiment around riskier-asset class - like equities.
On the economic data front, weekly initial jobless claims jumped by 15K to a two-month high level of 258K for the week ended March 17 and did little to boost investor sentiment.
At the time of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down around 15-points to 20645, while the broader S&P 500 Index lost 2-points to 2,345. Meanwhile, tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index slipped nearly 10-points to 5,810.
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