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Stocks end mixed after tax bill passes

Traders work on the floor of the New

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 15, 2017. Photo Credit: Bloomberg / Michael Nagle

Stocks finished little changed Wednesday after Congress passed the Republican-sponsored tax bill. Smaller companies fared the best.

The Senate narrowly passed the tax bill after midnight and the House, which passed a similar bill Tuesday but had to go back and make changes, followed suit in the afternoon.

Smaller companies climbed, as they might benefit the most from the corporate tax cut. Bond yields rose, which hurt companies that pay big dividends, including utilities and household goods makers.

Stocks have jumped over the last four weeks as the tax legislation moved closer to passing. Stocks set all-time highs Monday and slipped on Tuesday.

It’s been a very strong year for the market, and ordinarily investors might sell some of their holdings in late December and take some profits before they make new investments in January. But with a tax bill passing at the very end of the year, TD Ameritrade Chief Market Strategist JJ Kinahan said that pattern might not hold.

“There are always unintended consequences with tax plans,” he said.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 2.22 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,679.25. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 28.10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 24,726.65. The Nasdaq composite slid 2.89 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 6,960.96. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 3.33 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,540.08.

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