Stocks fell slightly on Wednesday as investors attempted to shake off renewed political worries surrounding President Donald Trump on the day the bull market was set to become the longest on record.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 23 points as Intel lagged. The S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent with industrials underperforming. The Nasdaq Composite also pulled back 0.1 percent.
Target shares jumped on strong earnings, helping stocks keep losses muted.
The current bull market turned 3,453 days old on Wednesday. In that time, the S&P 500 has skyrocketed more than 300 percent in that time period. On Tuesday, it tied the one that ran from October 1990 to March 2000.
“Sentiment in the financial markets was so low after the crisis that it appeared we were going to get a bounce,” said Jeff Zipper, managing director of investments at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management. “But I don’t think we were expecting one of this magnitude.”
Target reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on the back of its best same-store sales growth in 13 years. The report sent Target shares up by more than 6 percent.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to eight counts related to tax fraud, campaign contributions, making false statements to a financial institution, and unlawful corporate contributions. Cohen also admitted to making payments to two women at the direction of Trump.
Meanwhile, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight counts in a separate case. Five of those counts pertained to tax fraud, two to bank fraud and one to failing to file foreign bank account reports.
Also helping to boost sentiment was a Politico report that said a “handshake” deal between the U.S. and Mexico on NAFTA could be announced on Thursday. The report, which cites three sources close to the talks, said that time has been cleared on the White House schedule for the announcement.
The report comes as a nine-member delegation from Beijing is set to start talks with U.S. officials in Washington today, with the hope of finding ways to relieve friction between the two nations. The meeting comes as fresh tariffs from the U.S. on $16 billion of Chinese goods are due to come into effect this week, with Beijing having imposed the same amount in retaliatory levies on the States.
Later on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the minutes from its meeting earlier this month. The release is scheduled for 2 p.mT.