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Here's how to play the president's speech

As the country preps for Tuesday night's highly anticipated State of the Union address, investors have a lot on their minds. After all, it's been a rough-and-tumble start for the markets in 2014, with stocks sliding more than 2 percent last week.

So what should investors listen for during the president's address?

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According to market watchers, there are a few sectors that could see an impact from President Barack Obama's speech.

Minimum wage: As the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to widen, the debate over how to stem the divide is gaining momentum as well. Among the potential solutions proposed: Increasing the minimum wage. Last year, Democrats introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would bump the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. It's widely expected that President Obama will highlight the topic. If he pushes for the increase, Dan Clifton, head of policy research at Strategas, said that would be a negative for restaurants and retailers.

(Read more: Paul Singer: Minimum wage hike would 'destroy' jobs)

Energy independence: President Obama will likely make comments about the energy industry, Clifton added, and U.S. energy independence as well. "Any favorable talk about energy independence could be a plus for the producers and refiners," said Jeff Kleintop, chief market strategist of LPL Financial. On the flipside, Kleintop noted that a focus on climate change could negatively impact coal companies and the railroads that carry the coal.

Trade talk: With globalization on the lips of, well, everyone these days, trade could also be a topic with market-moving impact. Clifton noted that companies across the board are lobbying Congress for approval of the Trade Promotion Authority with Pacific Rim trading partners as an avenue for growth in new markets.

Housing finance: Housing stocks are on a roll, but if the president talks about housing, watch the mortgage-heavy banks, said Kleintop. The address could shed light on housing finance reform and possible measures to expand housing credit availability.

There are plenty more topics investors will be keeping a close eye on, including the coming Feb. 7 expiration date for the debt ceiling. But maybe the best part of Tuesday night's speech? On average, most State of the Union speeches see less than a 1 percent move in the stock market on the following day, according to LPL Financial. After the past few days in the market, that may be the most welcome news of all.

(Read more: Obama 2014: Not your year (so far): Poll)

—By CNBC's Sheila Dharmarajan. Follow her on Twitter @sheilad_tv. CNBC's Patti Domm contributed to this report. Follow her on Twitter @pattidomm

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  • Patti Domm

    Patti Domm is CNBC Executive Editor, News, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy.

  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

  • CNBC Senior Commodities Correspondent and Personal Finance Correspondent

  • JeeYeon Park is a writer for CNBC.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

  • Rick Santelli joined CNBC Business News as an on-air editor in 1999, reporting live from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade.

  • Senior Producer at CNBC's Breaking News Desk.