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

01 March 2017

With traders looking ahead to a speech by President Donald Trump, stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading on Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average set an 11th straight record on Friday. The Nasdaq Composite fell 35 points, or 0.6%, to 5,826.

The Dow fell 0.1 percent, to 20,812.24.

The Dow closed at record highs for 13 sessions in a row back in 1987, nine months before the Black Monday market crash.

The Nasdaq jumped 16.59 (+0.28 percent) to close at 5,861.90, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,369.73, up 2.39 (+0.10 percent) from its open.

Online brokers fell sharply after Fidelity announced a cut in trading commissions. Other brokerages followed suit.

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The S&P is on track for a February gain of more than 3%, representing its largest monthly rise since March 2016 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-sp-500-is-on-track-for-its-largest-monthly-gain-in-nearly-a-year-2017-02-28).

Target plunged 12.2 percent after its latest quarterly profit fell short of Wall Street's forecasts. Investors have also cheered data confirming an economic recovery in Europe and a turn around in company earnings.

In commodities, Brent crude settled down 0.1 per cent at US$55.93 per barrel while US West Texas Intermediate settled up 0.1 per cent at US$54.05 per barrel as a global supply glut appeared to ease. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, rose 4 cents to $56.46 in London.

Stocks have risen sharply in the wake of the November 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.

Trump, who met with state governors at the White House, also said he is seeking what he called a "historic" increase in military spending of more than 9%, while he said his administration would be "moving quickly" on regulatory reforms.

US stocks looked set to open slightly lower on Monday as investors paused to assess Wall Street's recent record-setting run. "The sustainability of this rally in the near term may well rest on how Trump performs this evening and whether promises of big spending and phenomenal tax reforms are accompanied by any insight into what they will entail".

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