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US STOCKS-Wall Street dips as healthcare stocks slide again

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* Qualcomm surges on surprise settlement with Apple

* Healthcare stocks fall for 2nd straight day

* IBM falls after revenue miss and weighs on the Dow

* Indexes off: Dow 0.18 pct, S&P 0.16 pct, Nasdaq 0.13 pct (Updates to open)

By Amy Caren Daniel

April 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks gave up early gains totrade marginally lower on Wednesday, as healthcare stockscontinued a decline from the previous session, countering arally in chipmakers led by Qualcomm and robust economic data outof China.

The S&P healthcare index .SPXHC fell 1.7% as insurers andhospital operators dropped on ongoing concerns about potentialchanges to healthcare policy. The sector is on track to wipe outyear-to-date gains.

China's economy grew at a steady 6.4% pace in the firstquarter, defying expectations for a further slowdown, adding tooptimism that the economy may be starting to stabilize even asBeijing and Washington appear moving closer to a trade deal.

Qualcomm IncQCOM.O surged 15.1% after the company won amajor victory in its legal dispute with Apple IncAAPL.O thatcalled for the iPhone to once again use Qualcomm modemchips.

The Philadelphia chip index jumped 2.65%, and the broadertechnology sector gained 0.65%.

"We've had a tailwind from Chinese economic data, and ingeneral earnings reports have been mixed, but for the most partit was better-than-feared," said Art Hogan, chief marketstrategist at National Securities in New York.

"We've bounced up to a level where we are pretty fairlyvalued and we are going to need something significantly new likethe U.S.-China trade deal for a higher estimate in 2019."

United Continental Holdings IncUAL.O rose 5% afterreporting a better-than-expected jump in quarterly profit andfueled a 1.4% jump in the Dow Jones transport index .DJT .

The Nasdaq 100 .NDX touched a record intraday high,surpassing its highest level hit in early October.

At 10:10 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 48.06 points, or 0.18%, at 26,404.60. The S&P 500 .SPX was down 4.58 points, or 0.16%, at 2,902.48 and theNasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 10.60 points, or 0.13%, at7,989.62.

International Business Machines CorpIBM.N fell 4.1%, andweighed on the Dow, after reporting a bigger-than-expected dropin quarterly revenue.

Of the 54 S&P 500 companies that have posted so far, about80% have beaten estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

Analysts now expect first-quarter S&P 500 profits to havedropped 1.8% year-on-year. Though a solid improvement overrecent estimates, it would still mark the first earningscontraction since 2016.

Among other earnings, Morgan StanleyMS.N rose 1.4% afterits quarterly profit beat expectations, wrapping up earnings forbig U.S. banks.

PepsiCo IncPEP.O rose 2% after quarterly results beatWall Street estimates.

Netflix Inc shares NFLX.O fell 1.5 percent in volatiletrading. The video streaming service provider gave a weakforecast but beat quarterly estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.87-to-1 ratioon the NYSE and by a 1.25-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 35 new 52-week highs and two newlows, while the Nasdaq recorded 48 new highs and nine new lows. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel, Sruthi Shankar and ShreyashiSanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila) ((Amy.CarenDaniel@thomsonreuters.com ; within U.S.+1-646-223-8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 9250 ; ReutersMessaging: Amy.CarenDaniel.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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