U.S. stocks tumbled and the Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 113 points Wednesday as investors watched the elusive 20,000 mark slowly slip away.
The Dow could not avoid its second triple-digit loss since the election. The index closed 0.56 percent lower, at 19,833.68. Now, investors are beginning to lose hope in seeing the Dow hit 20,000 before New Year's.
"Just because the market is down now, doesn't mean a correction is forthcoming," Kevin Mahn, president and chief investment officer of Hennion & Walsh Asset Management, said. "Most clients are looking to take losses in their portfolio right now, not re-position themselves."
Mahn said he thinks the market has "raced up too high too fast" and is taking a breather. A lot of the gains from early 2017 may have taken place already, he said, and without very many specifics from President-elect Donald Trump on how his administration will grow the economy.
The Dow opened slightly higher before turning negative. The only gainer of the group was Travelers Companies, which was up less than a tenth of a percent. On the other hand, Caterpillar, Intel and Boeing pushed the index down.
"There is a wave of optimism that's taken over Wall Street since the election either from the Trump trade or from a better sentiment of the prospects for U.S. economic growth in 2017," Mahn said.
Investors were expecting a positive day, citing a lack of "macro news" and the possibility of oil powering the Dow over the 20,000 milestone. The Dow Jones transportation average certainly had an effect on stocks, finishing the day down 1.2 percent all of its constituents negative.