U.S. equities closed mostly lower on Thursday, as uncertainty over some of President-elect Donald Trump's policies gave investors pause, despite solid economic data.
During his campaign, Trump called for an overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement and has repeatedly said he will construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has also called out companies for sending jobs out of the U.S. into other countries.
"There is still a lot of uncertainty," said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities. "We haven't had the inauguration, let alone details about his policies." "Not everyone is sold that this market is a one-way ramp higher," Klein said.
Adding to investors' worries was a Senate hearing on cybersecurity threats, as U.S. intelligence officials answered questions about their assessment that Russia interfered in the presidential election. "The whole hearing raises questions about whether the entire election was hacked," said Adam Sarhan, CEO at 50 Park Investments. "When you have concerns over a cybersecurity threat, that tends to send money away from risk assets into so-called safe-havens," such as gold, the Japanese yen and bonds.
The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent, with financials falling around 1 percent to lead decliners. The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 40 points lower, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most losses, after falling more than 100 points at session lows. The Nasdaq composite however, rose about 0.2 percent and posted a new all-time closing high.
"We've had a lot of positive expectations priced in from the year-end rally, so the market is behaving accordingly," said Lisa Kopp, head of traditional investments at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. She also said that, while she is sanguine about stocks for 2017, "equities are going to have to come in strong, in terms of earnings. There is no room for disappointment."
U.S. equities have rallied sharply since the election, with the Dow and S&P rising 8.5 percent and 6 percent, respectively, with investors betting on lower taxes, more fiscal spending and looser regulations in certain sectors. However, "there's still a lot of uncertainty surrounding that trifecta," said Shannon Saccocia, head of asset allocation at Boston Private.