A slide led by Target and other big retailers pulled U.S. stock indexes lower Tuesday, snapping a 12-day winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average.
Industrial stocks and phone companies were also among the big decliners. Energy companies fell as crude oil prices edged lower. Utilities stocks eked out a gain.
Investors were focused on an evening speech by President Donald Trump to Congress in hopes of gleaning more details on the timing of tax cuts and other policies.
“The next direction of this market, in our view, is going to be very much driven by the ability of the administration to start putting into action some of the things that the market has gotten excited about, mainly tax reform more than anything else,” said Rob Eschweiler, global investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.
The Dow fell 25.20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,812.24. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slid 6.11 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,363.64. The Nasdaq composite index lost 36.46 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,825.44.
Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 index slumped 21.29 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,386.68.
Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.39 percent from 2.37 percent late Monday.
Trump was scheduled to deliver his first speech to a joint session of Congress Tuesday evening. On Monday the president told a group of governors that his budget would propose increasing defense spending by $54 billion while cutting domestic programs and foreign aid by the same amount. He also said “We’re going to start spending on infrastructure big.”
Since the election in November, expectations of tax reform, deregulation and ramped-up spending on defense and infrastructure projects have pushed the stock market higher. Investors are looking for more clarity on business-friendly policies, but also on trade, immigration and other Trump administration policy initiatives that have made some investors nervous.
“[The market] has priced in all the positive aspects of some of his campaign promises, but what it hasn’t done is price in the negatives that could result from health care, trade policies, border taxes, things like that which are a little bit less clear,” said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA Research.
Traders weren’t entirely focused on Washington on Tuesday. They continued to size up the latest company earnings and outlooks.
Target plunged 12.2 percent after the retail chain’s latest quarterly profit fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts. The company also issued a weak outlook. The stock lost $8.14 to $58.77.
Perrigo slumped 11.7 percent after investors reacted to several disclosures by the Irish drugmaker, including disappointing guidance for 2017 and the company’s decision to sell its royalty rights to a multiple sclerosis drug for as much as $2.85 billion. Perrigo said the sale will hurt its earnings, but noted it plans to use the proceeds to pay down some of its debts. The stock slid $9.91 to $74.77.
Improved earnings and outlooks gave weight loss company Nutrisystem a big boost. The stock vaulted $7.30, or 18.6 percent, to $46.50.
Shares in Priceline climbed 5.6 percent after the online booking company posted strong quarterly earnings. The stock gained $92.12 to $1,724.13.
Online brokers fell sharply after Fidelity announced a cut in trading commissions.
ETrade Financial fell $2.69, or 7.2 percent, to $34.51, while Charles Schwab gave up $1.32, or 3.2 percent, to $40.41. TD Ameritrade slid $4.56, or 10.5 percent, to $39.10. Fidelity is privately held.
Signet Jewelers was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500 following a report of widespread discrimination at a subsidiary. The Washington Post first reported the allegations Monday, based on newly released class-action arbitration filings. The stock tumbled $9.29, or 12.7 percent, to $63.59.
Investors also weighed new data on the economy. The Commerce Department said that the U.S. economy grew at a 1.9 percent rate in the last three months of 2016, unchanged from an initial estimate. The increase in the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, represented a significant slowdown from 3.5 percent growth recorded in the third quarter.
The major indexes in Europe notched gains. Germany’s DAX rose 0.1 percent, while the CAC 40 in France gained 0.3 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares added 0.1 percent.
Earlier in Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index trimmed strong earlier gains to finish less than 0.1 percent higher. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.8 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.2 percent to 5,712.20.
Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 4 cents, or 0.1 percent, to close at $54.01 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, fell 34 cents, or 0.6 percent, to close at $55.59 a barrel in London.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline shed 2 cents to $1.51 a gallon, while heating oil slid 2 cents to $1.62 a gallon.
Natural gas futures rose 8 cents, or 3 percent, at $2.77 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Among metals, the price of gold fell $4.90 to $1,253.90 an ounce. Silver added 7 cents to $18.42 an ounce. Copper rose 2 cents to $2.70 a pound.
In currency trading, the dollar fell to 112.17 yen from 112.80 on Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.0597 from $1.0589.