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U.S. stocks indexes end with losses; Dow winning streak ends

Trader Daniel Kryger  works on the floor of

Trader Daniel Kryger  works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.  Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

U.S. stock indexes closed lower Tuesday, breaking the Dow Jones industrial average’s longest winning streak in 30 years. As of Monday, it logged 12 consecutive record high closings. Markets drifted as investors awaited President Donald Trump’s speech to Congress for clarity on tax cuts, infrastructure spending and other business friendly policies.

ON WALL STREET: At the close, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 6.1 points, about 0.3 percent, at 2,363.6. The Dow was down 25.2 points, about 0.1 percent, at 20,812.2. The Nasdaq composite fell 36.5 points, about 0.6 percent, to 5,825.4. Bond prices rose. As markets closed, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was at 2.358 percent.

OIL PRICES: As markets closed, benchmark U.S. crude was down 11 cents to $53.94 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London on the Intercontinental Exchange Europe, Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, was down 37 cents to $55.56 per barrel.

TRUMP WATCH: Investors are anxiously awaiting Trump’s first speech to a joint session of Congress later Tuesday and in particular will be seeking more clarity on tax cuts, infrastructure spending and other business friendly policies. On Monday the president told a group of governors, “We’re going to start spending on infrastructure big.” He also said his budget would propose increasing military spending by $54 billion while cutting domestic programs and foreign aid by the same amount.

ANALYST TAKE: “A day after the Dow extended its winning streak to 12 straight session — the longest in 30 years — U.S. futures look a little flat ahead of the open with all eyes firmly on Donald Trump’s first appearance before Congress this evening,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. “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.”

CHINA WATCH: Though Trump remains the key driver in markets at the moment, investors are keeping a close watch on developments in China, as the national legislature and a parallel advisory body begin meetings that could signal the direction for the region’s largest economy. Financial stability and sustainable growth are on the agenda.

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