Wall Street plunges amid concerns over Trump's agenda

Posted March 23, 2017

In contrast, over the past two years, the S&P 500 has suffered losses of 1 percent or more about once every 11 sessions, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 237.71 points, or 1.14 percent, to 20,668.15, the S&P 500 lost 29.49 points, or 1.24 percent, to 2,343.98 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 107.70 points, or 1.83 percent, to 5,793.83. Expectations of those tax cuts are a major reason for the 10-per cent surge in the S&P 500 since Trump's election.

"Combine that with [The Wall Street Journal], a notably right-leaning publication, claiming that if Trump doesn't "show more respect for the truth" (https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-presidents-credibility-1490138920) then "most Americans may conclude he's a fake president" and the optimism that caused investors to flock to the major indices has been seriously undermined by, well, Trump himself", Campbell said in a note. I think the selloff was due to concerns about Trump's policies not having the magical effects the markets are counting on.

The S&P 500 is down 29.80 points, or 1.3 percent.

Bank stocks enjoyed especially sharp rises and the dollar rallied hard too, but in the last few weeks moves have become more muted.

The S&P 500 has run up about 10 percent since the election in November, spurred mainly by Mr. Trump's agenda of tax cuts and infrastructure spending, but valuations have emerged as a concern.

"The market is starting to get a little fed up with the lack of progress in health care because everything else is being put on the back burner", said RJ Grant, head of trading at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in NY.

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(We have only scratched the surface of the retail carnage that will occur if the border tax indeed makes an appearance in the final tax reform plan.) In addition, oil was down pretty sharply yesterday (about 2%), which didn't help matters.

The Russell 2000 index of smallcap stocks fell 2.71 per cent, its worst day since September.

Among the names seeing accelerated options trading today is the iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB), as call traders continue to place ambitious bets.

The financial sector has been the best performing of the 11 major S&P sectors since Trump's election, surging almost 20 percent on his proposals to cut bank regulations and reduce taxes.

Investors have grown concerned about elevated valuations, with stocks hovering near record highs for most of the month.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,598 to 976.

The S&P 500 posted 27 new 52-week highs and 7 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 78 new highs and 79 new lows.