The Dow was on track to break its 10-day record-setting streak on Friday, as investors turned cautious after recent comments from Trump administration suggested that pro-growth policies may take longer to be implemented.
Wall Street is trading at record levels since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, spurred by his promises of tax reforms, reduced regulations and increased infrastructure spending.
However, with Trump giving scant detail on his plans – including one on Thursday to bring millions of jobs back to the United States – markets have traded in a tight range.
The benchmark S&P 500 index has not registered a move of at least 1 percent in either direction since Dec. 7.
“There is an expectation that the tax cuts promised by the new administration may not be as large or as early as expected,” said Mohannad Aama, managing director at Beam Capital Management in New York.
“Investors had priced in the most rosy outlook for the market under the Trump administrations and now their reality is slowly changing as they realize a lot of the new policies will take time and maybe the market has run up too fast too soon.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that any policy steps would probably have only a limited impact this year. Investor will likely get more clarity on Trump’s plan on Tuesday, when he addresses a joint session of Congress.
Still, the Dow and the S&P were on track to end the week higher, while the Nasdaq was set to register a loss.
At 12:36 p.m. ET (1736 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 35.23 points, or 0.17 percent, at 20,775.09.
The S&P 500 .SPX was down 3.75 points, or 0.15 percent, at 2,360.06.
The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 9.73 points, or 0.17 percent, at 5,825.78.
Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the utilities index’s .SPLRCU 1.07 percent rise leading the gainers.
Defensive sectors such as the telecommunications .SPLRCL and consumer discretionary .SPLRCD also gained.
The financial sector .SPSY, which is the best performing index since the election, fell 1.1 percent.
Oil prices were down about 1 percent after U.S. crude inventories rose for a seventh week, showing the market is still struggling to ease oversupply. [O/R]
Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE.N) fell 7.75 percent to $22.75 after the company cut its full-year profit forecast.
Baidu (BIDU.O) was down 4.84 percent at $175.70 as the internet search giant’s revenue fell for a second straight quarter. The stock was among the biggest drags on the Nasdaq.
J.C. Penney (JCP.N) fell 6.71 percent to $6.40 after the department store operator reported a bigger-than-expected drop in same-store sales for the holiday quarter.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,561 to 1,295. On the Nasdaq, 1,598 issues fell and 1,138 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 32 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 65 new highs and 46 new lows.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Anil D’Silva)