US Market Indexes Lower as Investors Await President's Speech

The gains marked a reversal from the day's regular session, where stocks ended down and the Dow snapped a 12-day streak of record closes.

The early jump Wednesday put the Dow Jones industrial average above 21,000 points for the first time.

The benchmark United States index was up more than 1 per cent on the day in afternoon trading in London, at around 21,051 points.

The big-cap S&P 500 index was up 1.37 per cent, at 2.395,96, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ composite gained 1.35 percent to close at 5.904,03, both new records.

A slide led by Target and other big retailers pulled USA stock indexes lower Tuesday, snapping a 12-day winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average. He also reaffirmed his pledges to reform taxes, slash red tape and ramp up spending on defense and infrastructure projects.

Encouraged by Trump's pledges, investors focused on buying stocks of major USA investment banks on Wednesday.

Investors bid up bank shares in anticipation that interest rates will rise.

At around 12.30 p.m. ET, Dow Jones added approximately 4.8 percent while S&P 500 gained 3.8 percent.

But some in the market still warned not to read too much into Mr Trump's speech and to remain cautious of abrupt policy announcements and fresh uncertainty that could rock markets.

DISAPPOINTING RESULTS: Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises sank 39.3 percent after the energy sector supply company's latest quarterly report card and guidance fell short of financial analysts' expectations.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was up 0.19%.

On the economic front, South Korea's industrial output grew 3.3 percent in January from the previous month, the fastest pace in over seven years on the back of a pickup in global demand, Statistics Korea figures showed.

On Tuesday, New York Fed President William Dudley said the case for tightening monetary policy had become "a lot more compelling", according to Reuters.

In this bullish environment, Snap Inc will price its initial public offering after the USA stock market closes.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.79-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.47-to-1 ratio favored decliners. The benchmark Kospi finished up 11.01 points or 0.53 percent at 2,102.65, the highest level since February 23. Of course, even if the shares struggle today, they could be in store for a short-term boost after leaving the S&P 500 Index (SPX) on Thursday. It shed 18 cents to $53.83 a barrel on Wednesday.

The dollar rose to 113.71 yen from Tuesday's 112.17 yen. The euro slipped to $1.0527 from $1.0586.

  • Essie Rivera