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GOP struggles to find consensus on health bill; fiduciary rule postponed to June

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GOP struggles to find consensus on health bill; fiduciary rule postponed to June

In the news

President Donald Trump's administration and members of the House Freedom Caucus failed to reach an agreement on a new bid to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, The Wall Street Journal reported. Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said the discussion was dominated by a measure to give states more flexibility to opt out of ACA requirements, adding that his group was encouraged by some of the options presented by Vice President Mike Pence.

An agreement with members of the House Freedom Caucus does not guarantee enough support, as some centrist House Republicans object to some of the changes sought by conservatives. The Trump administration's renewed push is facing resistance from some House Republicans who want more clarity on the most recent changes, Bloomberg News reported. Jim Renacci, a Republican member of the Ways and Means Committee who supported the previous version of the healthcare bill, said he is withholding support until he sees the outline of the recent changes.

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A federal bill to exclude medical stop loss insurance for a self-insured health plan from the federal definition of "health insurance coverage" is nearing a vote on the House floor, ThinkAdvisor reported. The measure would limit the ability of state insurance regulators to oversee small self-insured employer health plans. House members voted 234-184 to proceed with the consideration of the bill, known as the Self-Insurance Protection Act.

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The U.S. Department of Labor postponed the Conflict of Interest Final Rule's applicability date to June 9 from April 10. The extension also covers exemptions, including the Best Interest Contract Exemption.

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Trump's plans for renegotiating NAFTA include preventing restrictions on financial services companies' digital trade, according to a draft letter by Stephen Vaughn, the acting U.S. Trade Representative, S&P Global Market Intelligence reported.

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Syncora Holdings Ltd. reported non-GAAP operating income of $164.0 million, or $2.41 per common share, for the year ended Dec. 31, 2016, an increase from $119.0 million, or $2.11 per common share, in 2015.

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Truitt Insurance & Bonding acquired Homewood, Ala.-based Beacon Insurance Group for undisclosed financial terms.

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Palomar Specialty Insurance Co. is sponsoring a $143 million catastrophe bond, Torrey Pines Re Ltd. series 2017-1, Artemis reported.

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The New York Stock Exchange notified Independence Holding Co. that it is not in compliance with the exchange's continued listing requirements after it failed to file its 2016 Form 10-K on time.

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Lee Meyrick was appointed global marine specialty CEO at Aon Risk Solutions, according to a news release emailed to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Featured news

Talks continue on ACA overhaul; GSK recalls inhalers in US: A group of House Republicans met Vice President Mike Pence Tuesday night regarding the GOP health bill; while GlaxoSmithKline is recalling 593,088 asthma inhalers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico due to a defective delivery system.

Financial news in other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Swiss regulator halts probe into UBS; Daiwa mulls new European subsidiary

Europe: Commerzbank pink slips; RBS' plan B probed; JPMorgan chief talks Brexit

Middle East & Africa: Moody's puts SA banks on review for downgrade; Al Hilal gets new CEO

The day ahead

The House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing titled, "The 2016 Semi-Annual Reports of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection."

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.57% to 24,400.80, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.27% to 18,861.27.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.09% to 7,328.53, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.15% to 984.38.

On the macro front

The ADP employment report, Gallup U.S. job creation index, PMI services index, ISM non-manufacturing index, the EIA petroleum status report and the Federal Open Market Committee minutes are due out today.