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Dow at risk of longest losing streak since 1978

Ryan: This is a disappointing day for us

The last time the Dow fell nine days in a row, Jimmy Carter was in the White House.

U.S. stocks were on a roller coaster on Tuesday, opening lower before turning solidly higher. If the Dow closes in the green, it would avoid suffering its first nine-day losing streak since February 1978, according to historical data from FactSet.

While the market hasn’t retreated very far during the recent slump, it still represents a dramatic reversal from the early euphoria on Wall Street following President Trump’s victory.

The Trump rally is now under siege as investors worry that the president’s stunning failure to repeal and replace Obamacare will make it harder for him to push through the rest of his pro-business agenda.

Wall Street is especially nervous about the fate of Trump’s promise for a sweeping reform of the corporate tax code and “massive” tax cuts. Republican infighting exposed by the health care debacle could delay or water down the complex tax efforts.

“The perception, right or wrong, is that the new administration has been greatly weakened by the implosion,” Ed Yardeni, president of investment advisory Yardeni Research, wrote in a report to clients. “For now, the so-called ‘Trump bump’ in financial markets may be turning into a ‘Trump slump.'”

Related: Trump rally in jeopardy after health care debacle

There’s also concern about Trump’s ability to deliver on his promise to slash regulation, especially on banks. Shares of big banks like Morgan Stanley (MS) and Goldman Sachs (GS) have given back some of their post-election gains in recent days.

But U.S. stocks received a boost on Tuesday after a new report from the Conference Board showed that consumer confidence surged in March to the highest level since December 2000. While the survey took place before the health care vote was scrapped, it mirrors a string of other metrics that have turned more optimistic since the end of the election.

It’s important to note that while the Dow’s eight-day losing streak is its longest slump since 2011, the index is still up 11% since the election.

Also, the Dow is only down about 1.5% during the recent pullback, compared with a much more dramatic plunge of 7% during the August 2011 stumble.

While the Dow hasn’t gained ground since March 15, the Nasdaq has actually closed higher in three of the past four days.

Still, there has been a notable shift in terms of sentiment.

CNNMoney’s Fear & Greed Index is flashing “fear” and it even briefly flipped to “extreme fear” on Monday. The Dow is on track for its weakest month since January 2016 when Wall Street got off to its worst start to a year ever.

“The market was pricing in perfection. Now it’s come to realize that the size, shape and timing of fiscal policy is less than perfect,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.

CNNMoney (New York) First published March 28, 2017: 10:02 AM ET

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