MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Market Holds On To Gains As Trump Tax Plan Emerges

By Wallace Witkowski and Anora Mahmudova, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Procter & Gamble, Boeing earnings disappoint

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U.S. stocks retreated from intraday highs but held on to gains Wednesday following a choppy early session as investors started digesting the unveiling of President Donald Trump's tax-reform plan.

The S&P 500 index briefly traded above its previous closing high set March 1, then trimmed the advance, remaining up 5 points, or 0.2%, at 2,394. Seven out of the S&P 500's 11 sectors gained ground with telecom, consumer discretionary, and health-care shares leading gains, while consumer staples and real estate led decliners. Energy shares rebounded, and were last up 0.2%, taking a cue from oil prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 34 points, or 0.2%, to 21,030, despite disappointing first-quarter earnings from Dow components, Procter & Gamble Co (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pg-earnings-beat-expectations-but-revenue-misses-2017-04-26).(PG) and Boeing Co (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/boeing-shares-fall-premarket-after-revenue-falls-short-of-estimates-2017-04-26).(BA), which fell after each missed on revenue forecasts. Shares of United Technologies Corp.(UTX) and Verizon Communications Inc.(VZ) led gainers.

The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 8 points, or 0.1%, to 6,033, after touching an intraday all-time high at 6,040.89, a day after the tech-laden index surpassed the psychologically important level of 6,000 for the first time ever.

Wednesday's anxious trading atmosphere comes after stocks on Tuesday climbed sharply higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-poised-to-build-on-rally-with-flood-of-earnings-ahead-2017-04-25).

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In a news conference, Treasury Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Director Gary Cohn rolled out a one-page outline of the plan, promising more details later.

See:Live blog and video of Trump tax plan rollout by Mnuchin and Cohn (http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2017/04/26/live-blog-and-video-of-trump-tax-plan-rollout-by-mnuchin-and-cohn/)

While offering a useful outline of what the White House wants to do, the lack of more detail contributed to some subsequent weakness, said Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at Convergex.

Read:Full text of Trump administration tax principles (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/full-text-of-trump-administration-tax-reform-principles-2017-04-26)

The proposal, for example, calls for a one-time tax break on "trillions of dollars held overseas," but doesn't specify the rate.

"The market was looking for more specific color on rates and the reduction of exemptions, but color on the repatriation tax, which is the single most important issue, was left unaddressed by that press conference," Colas said in an interview.

Investors had not been expecting anything other than a broad outline of the tax reform, but something with more clarity than previously vague descriptions like "massive" or "phenomenal", said Quincy Krosby, market strategist, at Prudential Financial.

Krosby noted that earnings, especially revenue growth has been underpinning the market as well as optimism about tax reform.

Read:Trump's tax reform could lift the stock-market to new heights (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trumps-tax-reform-could-lift-the-stock-market-to-new-heights-2017-04-26)

Promises of a tax plan have been one of the linchpins of recent gains for risk assets and is likely to be a significant driver of trading action across asset classes when the blueprint of the plan is released later.

"There's an existential problem with any kind of legislation as an investment catalyst," Convergex's Colas said. "Unlike earnings, this is not a specific event, this is a slow, grinding process that does not lend itself to being an investment catalyst."

Following the announcement, the dollar traded mostly higher against other major currencies ahead of the announcement on Wednesday, with the ICE Dollar Index up 0.4% at 99.177. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell 1 basis point to 2.32%.

Also in focus was a potential government shutdown this weekend. Some of those concerns, however, may have eased after Trump backed off on a demand for funding for a wall between the U.S.-Mexico border (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-backs-off-demand-for-immediate-border-wall-funding-2017-04-24).

See:Should Wall Street fear a government shutdown? Here's how stocks fared in the past (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/should-wall-street-fear-a-government-shutdown-heres-how-stocks-fared-during-past-closures-2017-04-21)

Earnings season: The season continues in full swing, with a deluge of results. Shares of PepsiCo Inc.(PEP)fell 0.5% even as earnings beat analyst forecast.

Anthem Inc.(ANTM) shares rose 3.8% after results topped expectations.

Twitter Inc. (TWTR) soared 10% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/twitter-shares-soar-after-first-quarter-earnings-beat-2017-04-26), after the social media company beat first-quarter earnings expectations.

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.(CMG) rose 2.4% after the casual restaurant chain reported first-quarter earnings ahead of forecasts late Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chipotle-shares-rally-6-after-companys-earnings-beat-2017-04-25).

Arconic Inc. (ARNC) shares rallied 2.6% after the aerospace and car maker supplier's earnings out late Tuesday topped Wall Street estimates (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/arconic-shares-rally-as-quarterly-earnings-beat-street-view-2017-04-25).

After the market closes, earnings from Amgen Inc.(AMGN), Tractor Supply Co.(TSCO) and PayPal Holdings Inc.(PYPL) are on tap.

Other markets:Stocks in Asia closed mainly higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asia-pacific-markets-continue-to-ride-wave-of-gains-2017-04-25), propelled by optimism over the prospect of a U.S. tax overhaul.

European markets ended higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-struggle-to-hold-onto-20-month-high-ahead-of-trump-tax-unveiling-2017-04-26), after surging to historic highs following the first round of the French presidential election on Sunday. Centrist Emmanuel Macron came out on top and will battle against far-right Marine Le Pen in the second round on May 7--a vote Macron is expected to win.

Read:Emmanuel Macron: 5 things to know about the man poised to be France's president (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/emmanuel-macron-5-things-to-know-about-the-man-poised-to-be-frances-president-2017-04-24)

Oil prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-slip-again-as-us-supply-worries-resurface-2017-04-26-11033520) rose 0.4% to $49.77 ahead of the U.S. Energy Information Administration's supply data out later on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, gold prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-falls-for-third-session-as-dollar-firms-ahead-of-tax-plan-unveiling-2017-04-26) settled down 0.2% at $1,264.20 an ounce, but regained some ground in electronic trade.

The ICE U.S. dollar index was up 0.2% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-finds-firm-footing-ahead-of-trump-tax-plan-details-2017-04-26) at 99.018, while Treasury yields declined (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/treasury-yields-erase-gains-as-trump-tax-plan-outlined-2017-04-26).

--Sara Sjolin in London contributed to this article.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 26, 2017 14:50 ET (18:50 GMT)