The Wall Street indices were only on the northbound trajectory since November 8th and were making new highs. In fact, Dow Jones gave an all-time high closing for 12 consecutive days. It has happened only twice before in the 120-year long history of the index.
The markets were in the jubilant mood by President Trump’s promises during his campaign speeches and the good steady economic data numbers. The various top officials of the central bank were also giving indications that a rate hike is very much on cards in the March meeting of Fed, which was further boosting the markets.
The party seems to halt when markets open on Monday probably due to the developments that took place over the weekend. The geopolitical tensions grew in East Asia with North Korea firing four ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan and both South Korea and China getting into an argument over the issue of missile defence.
As if it was not enough, President Trump accused his predecessor Barack Obama of wiretapping him. This raised concerns among the investors as many thought that such accusations will distract the government from its economic agenda. It was this agenda of bringing in tax reforms and simplifying regulations that were fuelling the market from the last three months. The markets also had high hopes from Trump’s maiden speech at the Congress last week, but though he touched the issues he did not give any concrete plans on how he will take them forward.
The markets opened lower amidst all such concerns with sectors like Financials, Basic Materials and Healthcare bearing the maximum brunt. The investors are also getting jittery as Trump is facing a lot of setbacks in filling his Cabinet and all these together led to markets taking a breather on Monday. Thus, on Monday, all three major indices Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ closed 0.24%, 0.33%, and 0.37% lower respectively.
If we see the biggest gainers on the Dow Jones on Monday, then it was Caterpillar Inc., which was up by 0.57% followed by Exxon Mobil Corporation up 0.45% and UnitedHealth Group Incorporated that gained 0.30%. The biggest losers, on the other hand, were The Travelers Companies Inc. down 1.46%, JPMorgan Chase & Co losing 0.95% and Intel Corporation that shed some 0.92%. On NASDAQ, there were only 965 stocks that rose as compared to 2271 that declined with 36 remaining unchanged.