U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday after President Barack Obama reiterated his commitment to overhaul the healthcare system and impose stricter regulatory reforms on Wall Street.
The president's comments to the Senate Democratic caucus weighed on stocks in the healthcare and banking sectors and served to underscore the political risk that has pushed U.S. stocks lower in recent weeks.
Those two are very policy-sensitive sectors, said Jeff Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial in Boston, Once again, Washington (is) bearing down on the market.
The healthcare sector also suffered after Pfizer Inc
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slipped 7.56 points, or 0.07 percent, to 10,289.29. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 4.88 points, or 0.44 percent, to 1,098.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 2.22 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,187.84.
Health insurers' stocks dropped, with Cigna Corp
A healthcare overhaul has stalled in the U.S. Congress after Democrats lost a Senate seat in Massachusetts, injecting uncertainty about the extent and strength of any reform.
Banking stocks also dropped as concern resurfaced about the administration's intention to limit trading activities at some banks. Morgan Stanley
Logistics companies' shares weighed on the transport sector after Ryder System Inc
The Dow Jones transportation average <.DJT> lost 1.5 percent.
The market's mood, though, was directed by political developments, which overshadowed the broader economic picture.
The Institute for Supply Management said its services index rose to 50.5 in January from 49.8 in December, marking a return to growth, but below the 51.0 median forecast of economists surveyed by Reuters.
A report by ADP Employer Services showed the pace of U.S. job losses in the private sector slowed in January, as employers reported the smallest payroll decline in nearly two years.
(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Jan Paschal)