* Trump criticism helps snaps six-day rally for health
* Energy stocks rise with oil prices after two-day sag
* Nasdaq ends with another record closing high
* Indexes up: Dow 0.5 pct, S&P 0.28 pct, Nasdaq 0.21 pct
(Updates to close, adds commentary)
By Sinead Carew
NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended higher after
a choppy day on Wednesday as energy and technology gains
countered a drop in healthcare stocks after President-elect
Donald Trump said pharmaceutical companies were "getting away
with murder" by charging high prices.
The Nasdaq ended the day with another record closing high
after falling as much as 0.5 percent after Trump's first formal
news conference since the Nov. 8 election.
The S&P 500 healthcare index ended the session down
1 percent after falling as much as 1.9 percent earlier in the
day and the Nasdaq biotechnology index sank 2.96 percent,
ending 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.
However, the sector's pain eased as the session wore on as
money managers noted that Trump gave no new specific details on
his healthcare proposals, according to Michael Scanlon,
portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management in Boston.
He cited the beginning of fourth-quarter earnings season on
Friday and Trump's inauguration as President on Jan. 20 as
reasons for investor caution.
"Portfolio managers have every reason in the world to sit on
their hands," said Scanlon. "You put those two factors together
and I don't think you're going to see much movement in the
market until maybe we get some fireworks on Friday with
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 98.75
points, or 0.5 percent, to 19,954.28, the S&P 500 gained
6.42 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,275.32 and the Nasdaq
Composite added 11.83 points, or 0.21 percent, to
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors ended the day higher.
Energy stocks, ended 1.2 percent higher as crude oil
prices rose. The S&P's technology index
ended up 0.7 percent, boosted most by Microsoft Corp
, Facebook Inc and Apple Inc.
The biggest drag on the S&P's healthcare sector was
Bristol-Meyers Squibb's with a 5.3 percent decline,
after news that Merck & Co. leapfrogged its rivals in the race
to combine immunotherapy with other drugs as a treatment for
lung cancer. The next-biggest weights on the sector
included Johnson & Johnson, with a 1.2 percent drop and
Abbvie with a 3.6 percent decline.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
2.20-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.22-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 20 new 52-week highs and two new lows;
the Nasdaq Composite recorded 99 new highs and 18 new lows.
About 7.2 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges on
Wednesday compared with the 6.57 billion average for the last 20
(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)