* Health stocks set to snap six-day winning streak
* Vix jumps by biggest margin in nearly two weeks
* Dow up 0.3 pct, S&P up 0.04 pct, Nasdaq down 0.15 pct
(Updates to afternoon, adds commentary, changes byline)
By Sinead Carew
Jan 11 (Reuters) - Nasdaq lost ground in choppy trading on
Wednesday as investors fled drug stocks after President-elect
Donald Trump said pharmaceutical companies were "getting away
with murder" by charging high drug prices.
Trump said he has also discussed making it easier to import
cheaper drugs in his first formal news conference since the Nov.
The S&P 500 healthcare index reversed course
following Trump's remarks and fell as much as 1.9 percent. After
paring losses it was still down 1.2 percent and on track for its
worst day since Nov. 22.
The Nasdaq biotechnology index sank 3.1 percent and
was on track for its worst day in three months. The pullback
ended a six-day winning streak for both indexes.
"When somebody that high profile says something that
negative, people do not want to invest in it. They view the
sector as uninvestible, and withdraw their money," Brad Loncar,
manager of the Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 63.87 points,
or 0.32 percent, to 19,919.4, the S&P 500 had gained 0.93
points, or 0.040989 percent, to 2,269.83 and the Nasdaq
Composite had dropped 8.06 points, or 0.15 percent, to
The CBOE Volatility index, also called Wall Street's
"fear gauge", spiked as much as 6.4 percent before creeping back
and was last was up 1 percent.
Lockheed Martin, down 0.55 percent in afternoon
trading, pared losses after falling as much as 1.3 percent when
Trump said the F-35 fighter jet program "is way behind schedule
and billions over budget."
"(Trump) was tough on businesses that could take advantage
of the USA - healthcare, auto makers, any exporter, anyone who
did a corporate inversion, pharma, defense contractors and IT
suppliers," said Brian Battle, Director, Performance Trust
Analytics Group in Chicago, saying traders should get used to
White House headlines and tweets moving sectors and stocks.
Five of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower. Helping limit
losses was a spike in energy stocks, which rose 1.3
percent as crude prices jumped more than 3 percent.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.60-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.12-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak in New York and
Yashaswini Swamynathan, Natalie Grover and Tanya Agrawal in
Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and James Dalgleish)