Dow streak of record closes ends at 12

USA TODAY US Edition - - MONEY - Adam Shell @adamshell USA TO­DAY

On Day 13 the Dow rested. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age’s streak of record high closes was snapped at 12 on Tues­day, end­ing its best run of fresh peaks in 30 years.

The Dow fell 25.20 points, or 0.12%, to close at 20,812.24. Still, the blue chip stock gauge rose nearly 950 points, or 4.8%, in Fe­bru­ary.

The streak had gar­nered a lot of at­ten­tion and pub­lic­ity on Wall Street, where in­vestors have been push­ing both stock prices and val­u­a­tions up on the strength of a solid U.S. econ­omy and op­ti­mism that Pres­i­dent Trump would be able to bol­ster growth even more by get­ting some planks of his probusi­ness agenda, such as a big tax cut for cor­po­ra­tions and mas­sive spend­ing on in­fra­struc­ture, passed into law. The Dow rose 13 con­sec­u­tive days to start the year in 1987.

Still, de­spite the strong read­ing on U.S. con­sumer con­fi­dence in Fe­bru­ary — the best since sum­mer 2001 — in­vestors were un­will­ing to make ever big­ger bets on the Dow ahead of Trump’s highly pub­li­cized speech to Congress late Tues­day.

Trump’s ad­dress was be­ing billed by Wall Street as his most im­por­tant for mar­kets since he has taken of­fice. Given that stock prices have run up on ex­pec­ta­tions Trump will de­liver on his cam­paign prom­ises, in­vestors say it is im­por­tant for him to of­fer more spe­cific de­tails about his eco­nomic plans and find some com­mon ground with fel­low Repub­li­cans. Wall Street fears the pres­i­dent’s eco­nomic-fo­cused agenda might get side­tracked by other ini­tia­tives, which would put the stock rally in jeop­ardy.

How the fi­nan­cial mar­kets re­act to Trump’s na­tion­ally tele­vised ad­dress when trad­ing re­sumes Wed­nes­day will be closely watched to see if in­vestors still have faith in key things such as cor­po­rate tax re­form get­ting done in a timely man­ner.

In­vestors also ap­pear to be pric­ing in higher odds of a rate hike from the Fed­eral Re­serve at its meet­ing in March.

AN­DREW GOMBERT, EPA

Wall Street traders saw the Dow rise nearly 950 points, or 4.8%, in Fe­bru­ary.

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