×

Trump trade in banks, infrastructure leads market lower

  • The worry is that the latest political flare-up could lead to President Donald Trump's impeachment.
  • Stocks fall broadly, with financials, technology and industrials leading declines in the S&P 500.
President Donald Trump walks toward Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, May 17, 2017.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
President Donald Trump walks toward Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

Post-election market leaders fell the most Wednesday as traders worried that the Trump administration might not be able to fulfill its pro-growth promises.

"Putting these initiatives off ... that's not so much a problem as the possibility they'll [not] even happen," said Ben Pace, chief investment officer at HPM Partners.

The worry is that the latest political flare-up could lead to President Donald Trump's impeachment. Late Tuesday, news broke that Trump allegedly asked recently fired FBI Director James Comey to "let go" of the investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn. NBC News confirmed the report with multiple sources with first-hand knowledge of a memo written by Comey.

Stocks fell broadly Wednesday, with financials, technology and industrials leading declines in the S&P 500.

Financial stocks had mostly led post-election market gains as the industry was set to benefit the most from corporate tax cuts, deregulation and a rise in interest rates.

Financials such as Citizens Financial, Charles Schwab and Bank of America were among the 10 worst performers in the S&P 500 Wednesday morning.

"It stands that the sectors that psychologically benefited most form the Trump administration would be the ones hit today," Pace said.

Industrial stocks such as United Rentals ran up to a record high in March on hopes of Trump's proposal to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure. The stock fell 5 percent Wednesday as one of the 10 worst performers in the index.

Other big losers Wednesday included stocks many expected to benefit from a lower tax rate on repatriation, or earnings brought back to the U.S. from overseas. Goldman Sachs Chief U.S. Equity Strategist David Kostin said in November that most of any returning cash should go toward buying back stock, which would help boost share prices.

Shares of Apple, whis has one of the largest stashes of cash outside the U.S., traded 2.5 percent lower Wednesday.

The PowerShares Buyback Achievers Portfolio (PKW) exchange-traded fund moved 1.5 percent lower.

Still, some market analysts attribute the run higher in stocks to overall improvement in economic reports and earnings.

S&P 500 companies are on track to post first-quarter earnings growth of more than 14 percent, the best since the third quarter of 2011. Financials, materials and technology have posted the greatest year-on-year growth in earnings per share.