Dow, S&P 500 End With a Whimper After Trump's 'massive' Tax Proposal

By Mark DeCambre Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks closed little-changed on Wednesday, losing altitude in the final minutes of trade, following a highly anticipated announcement of President Donald Trump's ambitious tax proposal that had helped to fuel a breakout for equities in recent days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.1% lower at 20,975.09, the S&P 500 index finished off 1.16 point, or less than 0.1%, at 2,387.45, while the Nasdaq Composite Index , which touched a fresh intraday record of 6,040.89 before retreating, closed little-changed at 6,025.23--holding above its psychologically significant level of 6,000, hit Tuesday. In a news conference Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn produced a one-page outline of the eagerly awaited tax plan, but the lack of details appeared to disappoint investors. The yield on the 10-year Treasury yield [BX:TMUBMUSD10Y]slipped to 2.30%, highlighting a pick up in bidding for haven government bonds. Bond prices and yields move inversely. One bright spot, the Russell 2000 Index , a gauge of small-capitalization companies, and those mostly likely to benefit from tax cuts geared to small-business owners, ended at a record at 1,419.43, up 0.6%. Proposals to reduce the corporate tax rate to 15% from 35%, have boosted shares of small-cap stocks, which are up 2.9% for the week, compared with a 1.7% weekly rise for the S&P 500 and 2.1% for the Dow. In corporate action, Verizon Communications Inc. led gains for the Dow, while shares of Procter & Gamble Co. topped losses for blue-chips, down 2.5%. Twitter Inc. , also closed up nearly 8%, after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results. Moves for equities come amid a deluge of quarterly results that, so far, have mostly bolstered optimism about the rise in the stock market since Trump's election victory in November.

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