U. S. stocks fell on Tuesday, dragged down by economic growth-sensible sectors, amid disappointing earnings and continued concern over the priorities of the Trump administration.
Technology and financials were the sectors that weighed the most on the S&P 500 while healthcare helped cut losses. U.S. President Donald Trump met with top executives from some of the biggest drugmakers in a move seen as lowering tensions that have kept drug stocks in check since the presidential election.
The NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical index .DRG gained 1 percent. The index was unchanged from the Nov. 8 election to Monday’s close, having risen more than 6 percent at one point.
But stocks fell broadly as some worried that Trump’s focus was not on the issues that triggered a market rally after his election, like tax reform and a fiscal stimulus.
U.S. stocks are “pulling back on the building trepidation that maybe we’re going to see not just a renegotiation of trade agreements but maybe an all-out trade war, which is something the market doesn’t want at all,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.
“If tomorrow we talk about reform and deregulation of the financial industry, you’ll see this market turn on a dime.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 130.19 points, or 0.65 percent, to 19,840.94, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 5.55 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,275.35 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 7.94 points, or 0.14 percent, to 5,605.77.
The S&P 500 was on track for its largest two-day drop in three months, with Monday’s decline pinned to investor concerns over a curb on immigration ordered by Trump on Friday.
Package delivery company UPS (UPS.N) fell 6.8 percent to $109.05, weighing the most on the industrial sector, after posting a quarterly loss and issuing a full-year profit forecast that missed expectations.
Industrials .SPLRCI were the day’s largest decliners among S&P 500 sectors.
Under Armour lost nearly a fourth of its market value, down 23.5 percent to $19.20.
The dollar fell 0.86 percent against a basket of currencies .DXY after Trump’s top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, accused Germany of using a “grossly undervalued” euro to gain a competitive advantage.
Despite the sharp market moves triggered by political headlines, some trust the fundamentals will prevail. Corporate earnings are expected to have grown 7.1 percent over the last quarter of 2016 with revenues rising 4.2 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
“There’s good momentum in the economy, the labor market is doing well; the U.S. is fundamentally good but you have this political uncertainty,” said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer, Multi-Asset Strategies and Solutions at Voya Investment Management in New York.
In that scenario, Zemsky thinks this is a ‘buy the dip’ kind of market.
“Earnings are going to continue to rise and the tweets and the news and the legislation are going to be stocks-friendly overall; not every tweet, but the trend will be business-friendly -which should be equity market-friendly.”
A two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting committee is under way and also on investors’ radars. The central bank is not expected to raise rates but investors will focus on how policymakers view the economy under a Trump presidency.
The S&P 500 posted 9 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 66 new highs and 45 new lows.
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