Wall St slips as investors take profits after record day

Marcus Newton
March 3, 2017

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 112.58 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 21,002.97.

WHIFFED: Target plunged 12.7 percent after the retail chain's latest quarterly profit fell short of Wall Street's forecasts.

Investor confidence has never been this high, showing a positive reaction to the market, which is clearly shown when the Dow Jones soared 303 points to close over 21,000 for the first time in history on Wednesday.

The financial index, which surged to its highest level since 2007 on Wednesday and has outperformed in the post-election rally, lost almost 1 percent on Thursday.

At 9:36 a.m. ET (1436 GMT) the Dow was down 27.9 points, or 0.13 percent, at 21,087.65, the S&P 500 was down 6.77 points, or 0.28 percent, at 2,389.19 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 16.47 points, or 0.28 percent, at 5,887.56. Banks led gains among all industries. Crude oil declined, and gold fell to $1,249.80 per ounce as investors swarmed stocks.

Internet, semiconductor, and steel stocks also saw notable weakness, while some strength was visible among utilities stocks. The dollar rose to 113.97 yen from 113.74 yen.

Going into the high-profile speech, some expected the "Trump trade" to unravel if the president didn't provide details on his aggressive plans for lower taxes and higher spending.

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The materials group, however, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.8 per cent as gold and copper prices were pressured by a stronger USA dollar on growing expectations the US central bank will raise interest rates this month.

The weakness in the sector came amid an escalating price war as Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab (SCHW) lowered retail commissions for US stock and exchange-traded funds trades.

Trump "repeated many of his previous themes, but in a more measured, less combative tone than in previous speeches". Wall Street looked set for gains, with Dow futures up 0.4 percent and S&P 500 futures 0.5 percent higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 5.8 points, about 0.2 percent, to 2,390.1.

The stock market continues to climb since Trump took office. (Figures courtesy of Michael Ashbaugh.) Michael also correctly points out that "Each 1,000-point marker is easier to reach, as it constitutes a smaller percentage of the base".

Even though the Dow failed to achieve a 13-session record rally, it more than made up for it yesterday.

Bond prices fell and yields rose after a key Federal Reserve official, New York Fed President William Dudley, said the case for raising interest rates had gotten stronger. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes topped 2.45 percent and crude rose. That might not look like a lot compared to the gains posted by the S&P 500 companies - but it should be noted that the Dow only covers 30 major US companies that are also happen to be on the S&P 500. Slashing regulation across the board should, in tandem with tax cuts, help more money fall to the bottom line of corporations in America.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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