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Dow snaps 12-day winning streak ahead of Trump's speech to Congress

Fred Imbert

U.S. stocks closed lower Tuesday as investors eagerly awaited a speech from President Donald Trump while parsing through key economic data.

"It's just a wait and see approach at this point," said Tom Cassidy, chief investment officer at Univest Wealth Management Division. "It's going to be tough for the market to keep going higher because we want detail and it's tough to give detail in this kind of speech."

The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 25 points lower, with Wal-Mart contributing the most losses. The index also snapped a 12-day winning streak, its longest since 1987.

"Investors are setting up to potentially sell the news," said Adam Sarhan, CEO of 50 Park Investments. "Investors have been buying the rumor, in this case Trump's speech, and now there's a lot of pent-up selling" in case Trump does not deliver what the market wants.

The S&P 500 declined 0.26 percent, with consumer discretionary lagging, snapping. Shares of Target (TGT) dragged discretionaries lower, falling more than 10 percent on the back of weaker-than-expected quarterly results and light guidance.

The Nasdaq composite fell 0.6 percent.

"A lot of this has been built on expectations about Trump's policies, but nothing has happened yet," said Ben Barzideh, wealth advisor at Piershale Financial Group. "We do expect him to elaborate a bit."

Trump is scheduled to speak at a joint Congress session Tuesday night. Wall Street will be listening closely for any clues or details regarding the administration's plans on tax reform and deregulation.

"Although global stocks have displayed phenomenal gains this month, the growing scepticism over the sustainability of the bull rally may encourage participants to heavily scrutinize Trump's first speech to a joint session of Congress," said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, in a note.

Equities in the U.S. have spiked into record-high territory since Trump's election.Treasury yields and the dollar also surged, but have recently lost steam.

"Everyone is kind of holding back, waiting to hear what is said tonight," said Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist at Charles Schwab. "The key will potentially be what is said on taxes because that's what puts money in people's pockets."

The benchmark 10-year note yield traded near 2.39 percent Tuesday, while the dollar index held around 101; they began 2017 trading near 2.48 percent and 102.21, respectively.

In economic news, the second read on fourth-quarter U.S. GDP remained unchanged, but consumer spending was revised sharply higher to a 3.0 percent rate from 2.5 percent.

"There wasn't much news in the report," said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman. "I do think the internals are interesting in terms of the direction; the magnitude was not great."

"If anything, the quality of the data improve a little bit," he said.

Meanwhile, low inventory and mortgage rates pushed home prices 5.8 percent higher in December, up from November's 5.6 percent annual gain, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index.

Other data released Tuesday included consumer confidence for February, which hit its highest level since July 2001.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, a voting member on the policymaking committee, reiterated his view that the Fed could raise rates three times this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.20 points, or 0.12 percent, to close at 20,812.24, with Wal-Mart leading decliners and Coca-Cola outperforming.

The S&P 500 declined 6.11 points, or 0.26 percent, to end at 2,363.64, with consumer discretionary leading eight sectors lower and utilities the top advancer.

The Nasdaq composite slipped 39 points, or 0.67 percent, to 5,822.

About nine stocks declined for every five advancers at the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 1.192 billion and a composite volume of 4.186 billion at the close.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded near 12.9.

—CNBC's Elizabeth Gurdus contributed to this report.

On tap this week:



Wednesday

Monthly vehicle sales

Earnings: Best Buy, Mylan Labs, Broadcom, Shake Shack, Planet Fitness, Lowe's, Windstream, Luxottica

8:30 a.m. Personal income and spending
9:45 a.m. Manufacturing PMI
10:00 a.m. ISM manufacturing
10:00 a.m. Construction spending
1:00 p.m. Dallas Fed's Kaplan
2:00 p.m. Fed's Beige Book

6:00 p.m. Fed Gov. Lael Brainard

Thursday

Earnings: Costco, A-B InBev, Ambev, Toronto-Dominion Bank, JD.com, Kroger, Burlington Stores, Autodesk, American Outdoor Brands, Wingstop, Barnes and Noble, Abercrombie and Fitch

8:30 a.m. Jobless claims
7:00 p.m. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester

Friday

Earnings: WPP Group

9:45 a.m. Services PMI
10:00 a.m. ISM nonmanufacturing
10:15 a.m. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker

12:15 p.m. Fed Gov. Jerome Powell
1:00 p.m. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer at Monetary Policy Forum
1:00 p.m. Fed Chair Janet Yellen, Executives Club of Chicago on outlook, with Q&A



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