After a record-setting 12-day winning streak, the Dow Jones snapped Tuesday (28 February) ahead of President Donald Trump's first policy address to a joint session in Congress. The major US markets dropped narrowly, shedding less than 1% each.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 25.2 points, or 0.1%, to settle at 20,812.24. The blue-chip gauge gained 4.8% in February after coming off its longest streak since 1987. According to Dow Jones Data Group, had the Dow posted gains on Tuesday, it would have marked its 13th straight record for the first time in its history.
"Investors are setting up to potentially sell the news," Adam Sarhan, CEO of 50 Park Investments, told CNBC. "Investors have been 'buying the rumour', in this case Trump's speech, and now there's a lot of pent-up selling" (if the president does not deliver what the market wants).
The S&P 500 fell 6.11 points, or 0.3%, to end at 2,363, with 'consumer discretionary lagging', CNBC reported. Following weaker-than-expected quarterly results and light guidance, Target shares fell more than 10% and dragged discretionaries lower. The S&P's utilities and consumer staples sectors finished higher.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite fell 36.46 points, or 0.6%, to end at 5,825.44. The tech-heavy index closed out February 3.8% higher, MarketWatch reported.
Investors are eager to see what Trump announces during his address to the joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. The president has hinted he will lower taxes and regulations to boost economic growth but has not given any details.
"The market has been pretty generous to [Trump] since the election and in all likelihood, unless he says something so outrageous to spook the market, it will breathe a sigh of relief," Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab, told MarketWatch.
In economic news, fourth-quarter GDP grew 1.9% and a survey on consumer confidence revealed a jump to its highest level in 15 years. "There wasn't much news in the report," Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, told CNBC. "I do think the internals are interesting in terms of direction; the magnitude was not great. If anything, the quality of the data improved a little bit."
Oil futures closed marginally down, as did gold futures, which dropped 0.4%. The US dollar index was mostly flat, MarketWatch reported.