US STOCKS-Dow, S&P end lower as Pfizer, Obama reforms weigh

* Banking, healthcare shares fall on Obama’s comments

* Pfizer shares drop after results miss view

* Dow slips 0.3 pct; S&P off 0.6 pct; Nasdaq up 0.04 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to close)

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Feb 3 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) mostly fell on
Wednesday as Pfizer’s disappointing outlook weighed on the
health sector, and President Obama’s pledge to complete banking
and healthcare reform revived fears of increased regulation.

President Barack Obama reiterated his commitment to
overhaul the healthcare system and impose stricter regulatory
reforms on Wall Street, underscoring the political risk that
has driven U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) lower in recent weeks.

“Political factors are definitely putting a cloud over the
market again, and (this) is probably going to put a lid on a
rally for awhile until we get some clarity on these reforms,”
said Scott Marcouiller, senior equity market strategist at
Wells Fargo in St. Louis.

Pfizer Inc (PFE.N: ) fell 2.3 percent to close at $18.62,
leading a broad decline in several health-related sectors after
the world’s biggest drugmaker’s quarterly earnings missed
estimates and the company forecast profits below expectations.
For details see [ID:N02107070].

Trucking companies’ shares were hit after Ryder System Inc
(R.N: ) and C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc (CHRW.O: ) reported
weaker-than-expected profits. [ID:nN03150751] and
[ID:nSGE6110JK]

Ryder tumbled 7.7 percent to end at $34.45, and C.H.
Robinson lost 6.8 percent to close at $53.54. The Dow Jones
transportation average (.DJT: ) lost 1.4 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) slipped 26.30
points, or 0.26 percent, to end at 10,270.55. The Standard &
Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: ) fell 6.04 points, or 0.55 percent, to
end at 1,097.28. But the Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) inched
up just 0.85 of a point, or 0.04 percent, to close at
2,190.91.

Expectations of more government scrutiny sparked fears that
corporate profits would be crimped, driving the S&P 500 down
nearly 7 percent in the second half of January. But markets had
recovered with a two-day rally that began this week.

The Nasdaq ended flat, but outperformed other indexes,
helped by major tech companies, including Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (APPL.O: )
and Google (GOOG.O: ). Shares of Apple rose 1.7 percent to close
at $199.23 and Google gained 1.8 percent to $540.82.

Economic data also renewed concerns about lackluster
growth. The Institute for Supply Management’s index showed the
U.S. services sector grew less than expected in January,
overshadowing an ADP Employer Services report that said job
losses in the private sector slowed in January. [ID:nN03361980]
[ID:nN03150829]

Banking stocks dropped as concerns resurfaced about the
administration’s intent to limit trading activities at some big
banks. Morgan Stanley (MS.N: ) (Read more about the money market today. ), which has a large trading arm,
fell 0.6 percent to $27.89. The KBW bank index (.BKX: ) slid 2.4
percent.

Health insurers’ stocks also fell, with Cigna Corp (CI.N: )
down 1.4 percent at $34.76, and UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N: )
off 2.1 percent at $33.32.

The Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index (.HMO: ) fell 1.6
percent.

MetLife Inc (MET.N: ) shares slid 4.3 percent to $34.80 as
the biggest U.S. life insurer faced a possible credit
downgrade, a day after the company confirmed it was in talks,
but it had not reached a deal to buy a unit of American
International Group Inc (AIG.N: ). [ID:nN03175264]

The New York-traded shares of Toyota Motor (7203.T: ) (TM.N: )
slid 6 percent to close at $73.49 on the NYSE after the Obama
administration stepped up the pressure to address a range of
safety issues, deepening the crisis for the world’s largest
automaker following its massive January recall of cars and
trucks due to faulty accelerator pedals. [ID:nSGE612025]

Total volume of 8.09 billion shares traded on the New York
Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, well
below last year’s estimated daily average of 9.65 billion.

Declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by
a ratio of slightly more than 3 to 2, while on the Nasdaq,
about three stocks fell for every two that rose.

Penny Stocks

(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Jan Paschal)

US STOCKS-Dow, S&P end lower as Pfizer, Obama reforms weigh