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Dow breaks 12-day record streak ahead of Trump speech; retail down

Traders work on the trading floor at the opening of the markets at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S. February 27, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

By Caroline Valetkevitch

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks slipped on Tuesday and the Dow snapped a 12-day streak of record closes as investors awaited President Donald Trump's address to Congress, while a disappointing outlook from Target (TGT.N) dragged down retailers.

All three major indexes posted gains, however, for the month of February, with the S&P 500 up 3.7 percent.

Stocks have risen sharply in the wake of the Nov. 8 election, bolstered by Trump's promises of tax reform, infrastructure spending and reduced regulations, and investors are looking for more specifics on how he may achieve those promises.

Ahead of his address, due at 9:00 p.m. EST (0200 GMT), Trump on Monday met U.S. state governors at the White House and said he sees "big" infrastructure spending and that he is seeking a "historic" increase in military spending of more than 9 percent.

While a lack of concrete details from Trump could disappoint some investors, other investors may just be looking for any sign that Trump's pro-growth plans are on track, strategists said.

"There's a significant amount of optimism and euphoria in this market. I don't expect there to be a lot of details, but I'm also not confident that the maket is going to disappointed by not having details. This market loves to trade on hope," said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.

"The key thing we're focused on is how is he going to pay for these tax cuts."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was down 25.2 points, or 0.12 percent, to 20,812.24, the S&P 500 (.SPX) had lost 6.11 points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,363.64 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) had dropped 36.46 points, or 0.62 percent, to 5,825.44.

For the month, the Dow rose 4.8 percent and the Nasdaq gained 3.8 percent.

The S&P is up 10.5 percent since the Nov. 8 election.

Target (TGT.N) slumped 12.2 percent in its biggest one-day percentage drop since 2008 after the retailer's full-year profit forecast missed estimates and the company said it would take a $1 billion hit to its operating profit.

The S&P retail index (.SPXRT) was down 0.8 percent and the discretionary index (.SPLRCD) was down 0.7 percent, the biggest drag on the S&P 500.

Also weighing on sentiment was data that showed U.S. economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter.

Charles Schwab (SCHW.N) fell 3.2 percent after the company said it would cut its ETF trade and online equity fees, following similar cuts by Fidelity Investments. TD Ameritrade (AMTD.O) dropped 10.4 percent.

Priceline (PCLN.O) rose 5.6 percent following quarterly revenue that blew past estimates.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.79-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.47-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 51 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 106 new highs and 52 new lows.

About 7.9 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, compared with the 6.9 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data

(Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Chizu Nomiyama)