U.S. equities closed down on Friday — the last day of the first quarter and of the month — as investors digested a slew of economic data.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell about 65 points, with Goldman Sachs and Exxon Mobil contributing the most losses. The S&P 500 slipped 0.23 percent, with financials lagging.
The Nasdaq composite closed just below breakeven.
The three major U.S. indexes posted quarterly gains of at least 4.6 percent. The Nasdaq also recorded its best quarterly performance since 2013 as tech stocks rose more than 12 percent in the period.
"It's kind of surprising how resilient markets have been, in part because people are seeing the reality of Washington," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank, noting that market participants are realizing the Trump administration's pro-growth policies may not come as soon as they thought.
Major indexes in first quarter
"The fact that the market has held in here is a testament to how embedded that hope is in the American psyche. The question is whether that will continue," he said.
Stocks rallied in the first quarter largely on expectations that President Donald Trump's administration will be able to move forward with tax reform, deregulation and infrastructure spending policies, all of which are considered pro-growth.
However, after a tumultuous start, the administration may be forced to push back some of these policy proposals. Trump's presidency took a hit last week when a Republican-led bill what would have replaced Obamacare was defeated.
The first-quarter rally slowed down this month, with the S&P closing flat for March, while the Dow lost 0.72 percent and the Nasdaq gained 1.48 percent.
Stephen Wood, chief market strategist at Russell Investments, said investors will need to be mindful of the high valuations in stocks moving forward. "Short-term momentum and sentiment can be very powerful but over the long-term valuations matter," he said.
However, March also marked the eighth anniversary of the current bull market, one which is not in danger right now, according to Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.