US stock moved off their session lows around midday on Thursday, but were still set for their worst day this year as the lack of details on economic policy during Donald Trump’s press conference hit investor optimism and winded a post-election rally.
The losses were broad-based. All but 3 of the 30 components were lower, while 10 of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors declined.
In his first news conference since election, Trump on Wednesday gave no details on tax cuts or infrastructure spending. He instead lashed out at U.S. spy agencies and media houses over what he called a ‘phony’ Russia dossier.
“Some wind has been taken out of the reflation trade, at least for the short term,” said Jeff Zipper, managing director at the Private Client Reserve, U.S. Bank in Florida.
“There is a high probability of more volatility if his agenda does not go through or may take longer than he expects.”
At one point, the Dow and the S&P were set for their biggest one-day percentage loss since October. Despite the minor recovery, the Dow has further retreated from the 20,000-point mark, while the Nasdaq is set to snap a four-session streak of closing at record highs.
At 12:31 a.m. ET (1731 GMT), the Dow Jones was down 115.9 points, or 0.58 percent, at 19,838.38 and the S&P 500 was down 11.4 points, or 0.50 percent, at 2,263.92.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 37.64 points, or 0.68 percent, at 5,526.01.
The CBOE Volatility Index or Wall Street’s “fear gauge”, ticked up 8.1 percent, the most since the U.S. election.
The technology, financial and industrial sectors all tumbled more than 1 percent.
The financial index was down 1.45 percent, set for its worst day since late September, one day before a trio of big banks report results, kicking off the fourth-quarter earnings season.
Merck was up 1 percent after multiple broker upgrades, one of the few bright spots for the second straight session.
Microsoft fell 1.8 percent and Apple dropped 0.9 percent, making them the biggest drags on the S&P and the Nasdaq.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,973 to 880. On the Nasdaq, 2,043 issues fell and 706 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed seven new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 35 new highs and 19 new lows.