The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended Monday in the red, its eighth day of losses in a row and its longest losing streak since August 2011. Stocks were under pressure for much of the day as Wall Street contemplated the way forward for the Trump White House after its defeat on health care reform.
The Dow fell 0.22%, or by 45 points, the S&P 500 was down 0.10%, and the Nasdaq added 0.20%. However, stocks had seen far worse losses earlier in the day with Dow down by more than triple digits.
"There was a quick shift to not dwell on health care and move onto what's really on the minds of investors, which is tax reform," said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment strategist at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank, in a phone call. "The administration and Congress want to move quickly to tax reform, which may be a bit easier and less contentious as far as getting that done and that's really one of the key components of what Trump has been stressing for growth initiatives."
The GOP's failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, a major campaign commitment, was viewed as a litmus test for Trump's ability to achieve major change in Washington. Financials received a big boost following Trump's surprise election in November and his promises of relaxed industry regulation, though those changes now look more distant. House Speaker Paul Ryan said during a press conference on Friday afternoon that tax reform had been made more difficult by the failure of the health care bill, but not impossible.
Financials weighed on Wall Street on Monday. Bank of America (BAC) - Get Report , Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report , U.S. Bancorp (USB) - Get Report , Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report and Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Report were lower on Monday. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) - Get Report fell 0.47%.
House leaders pulled the unpopular health care bill ahead of a vote late Friday afternoon after Republicans failed to secure enough votes for passage. While Ryan has promised the fight to repeal and replace Obamacare is ongoing, changes in the near term look unlikely. In a press conference on Friday, the speaker said Obamacare remains the law of the land and Americans will live with it for "the foreseeable future."
"It leaves investors worrying what's next," Charlie Ripley, investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management, told TheStreet. "We came into this knowing that a lot of these Trump agendas are going to take a lot longer than what investors have been anticipating, and we think the stumble with the health care bill is opening up the eyes of other investors to that notion."
Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans hedged his bets on Monday, noting that four interest rate hikes could be appropriate if "things take off" but that half as many rate increases "might be right" if the outlook clouds. Evans was speaking at a Global Interdependence Center event in Spain. The Fed voted to raise rates by 25 basis points at its meeting in mid-March, the third increase since 2008.
Snap (SNAP) - Get Report climbed 4.8% on Monday following a series of analyst moves. RBC Capital initiated coverage at overweight with a $31 price target. JPMorgan rated the disappearing message app at neutral with a $24 a share target. Goldman Sachs and Jefferies both have the stock rated as a buy. Snap was given a series of sell ratings when it made its market debut at the beginning of the month.
Sealed Air (SEE) - Get Report fell 2.5% after agreeing to sell its Diversey Care division and its food hygiene and cleaning units to Bain Capital. The deal, worth around $3.2 billion, is expected to close in the second half of the year. Sealed Air also authorized an extra $1.5 billion to be added to its share repurchase program.
Weatherford International (WFT) - Get Report rose nearly 8% on Monday on news it had entered into a joint venture with Schlumberger (SLB) - Get Report to service the fracking industry in the U.S. and Canada. Schlumberger will own 70% of the OneStim venture. Wells Fargo upgraded Weatherford to outperform from market perform.
Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Report was initiated with an outperform rating and $66 price target at Telsey Advisory. The firm said the coffee chain can continue to deliver solid growth and return excess cash to investors. Starbucks rose by nearly 1%.
Best Buy (BBY) - Get Report added 3% after analysts at Piper Jaffray upgraded the stock to overweight from sector weight and upped its price target to $55 from $45. Analysts said they see the potential for higher comparable store sales growth.