The Dow was dragged lower in early afternoon trading on Tuesday by a drop in Goldman Sachs, but losses on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were limited by a jump in Netflix`s shares.
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The S&P healthcare sector also came under scrutiny, after the healthcare bill to replace Obamacare sank in the Senate, as Republicans remained divided on how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The failure of the bill spelled uncertainty for President Donald Trump`s agenda of tax reform and an infrastructure overhaul, leaving the president without any major legislative accomplishments six months into his tenure.
"The healthcare bill not coming through raises some continued concerns about the ability of Washington to push through favourable fiscal policies," said Lisa Kopp, head of traditional investments at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.
News about the bill`s collapse sent the U.S. dollar <.dxy> to a 10-month low against a basket of major currencies.
At 12:44 p.m. ET (1644 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.dji> was down 83.9 points, or 0.39 percent, at 21,545.82, the S&P 500 <.spx> was down 2.3 points, or 0.09 percent, at 2,456.84.
The Nasdaq Composite <.ixic> was up 10.41 points, or 0.16 percent, at 6,324.84.
Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with the telecommunications <.splrct> and financial sectors <.spsy> leading the decliners.
The market will be keeping a close eye on corporate results to see if high valuations are justified in the face of mixed economic data, tepid inflation and policy gridlock in Washington.
"With valuation where they are, it is really important for earnings to come through for the market to retain their momentum and push upwards," said Kopp.
Analysts are estimating an 8.2 percent rise in second-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 companies from a year earlier.
This follows a robust first quarter when U.S. companies posted their best earnings since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
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Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,656 to 1,139. On the Nasdaq, 1,599 issues fell and 1,162 advanced.