Wall St. set for breather after post-election rally

November 16, 2016 11:07 AM

The financial market looked set to take a breather on Wednesday, a day after the Dow closed higher for the seventh day in a row following Donald Trump's election win.

Trump's plans to cut taxes and raise infrastructure spending would boost economic activity, while his proposal to impose tariffs on cheap imports would likely drive inflation higher.

That prospect has given rise to expectations that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates faster than anticipated, boosting the dollar index to a 14-year high.

A higher dollar hurts the overseas income of multinational companies.

"We had a pretty sharp rally off the election and it was pretty impressive, but it seems pretty clear to me that sort of emotional reaction, if you will, is now long off," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

"At this point we kind of have to get back to the fundamentals, and we could very well be in just a sort of wait-and-see mode until we get to the Fed meeting."

The Fed will hike rates in December barring any major shocks, policymaker James Bullard said, adding that a single rate increase may be enough to move monetary policy to a "neutral setting".

Traders are pricing in a 90.6 % chance that the central bank will raise rates next month, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.

Dow e-minis were down 61 points, or 0.32 %, with 31,551 contracts changing hands at 8:31 a.m. ET.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 8.25 points, or 0.38 %, with 194,090 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 18 points, or 0.38 %, on volume of 28,530 contracts.

The S&P has gained 1.9 % since the election on November 8. The Dow has risen 3.2 % and closed at a record high for the past four days.

However, investors are also waiting for more clarity regarding Trump's policies and what campaign promises will materialize into policies as well as keeping an eye on key appointments to his administration.

Also denting sentiment was a more-than-one-percent drop in oil prices a day after one of its biggest rallies this year, as industry data showed U.S. crude stocks rose beyond expectations last week to add to an oversupplied market.

Target was up 7.8 % at $77.10 in premarket trading after the retailer reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year forecast.

Lowe's fell 4.7 % to $65.81 after the No. 2 U.S. home improvement chain cut its full-year profit forecast for a second time.

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