Banks and other financial companies led US stocks sharply higher, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average above 21,000 points for the first time.
Target slumped 12.2 percent in its biggest one-day percentage drop since 2008 after the retailer's full-year profit forecast missed estimates and the company said it would take a $1 billion hit to its operating profit.
DISAPPOINTING RESULTS: Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises sank 39.3 percent after the energy sector supply company's latest quarterly report card and guidance fell short of financial analysts' expectations.
The S&P is on track for a February gain of more than 3%, representing its largest monthly rise since March 2016 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-sp-500-is-on-track-for-its-largest-monthly-gain-in-nearly-a-year-2017-02-28).
US stocks pulled back from records Tuesday as investors remained cautious ahead of a speech by President Donald Trump that could determine whether the market's recent surge will be justified by government policy.
"By bringing Congress on side, Trump's plans to "restart the engine" of the United States are a lot more likely to become policy".
The Dow fell 38 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,785. The Standard & Poor's 500 closed at 2,363.64 for a loss of 6.11 points or 0.26%.
Details on the reforms may be limited, but investors were heartened and inspired by how Trump delivered his speech and his tone during the joint session of Congress. In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 1.9 percent, while France's CAC 40 was 2.2 percent higher. President Trump's pledge for $1 trillion on infrastructural spending and massive tax relief for the middle class strengthened optimism in the U.S. economy. Investors are looking for more clarity on business-friendly policies, but also on trade, immigration and other Trump administration policy initiatives that have made some investors nervous. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2 percent to 23,776.49, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.2 percent to 3,246.93.
Online brokers fell sharply after Fidelity announced a cut in trading commissions.
Mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rallied 3-4 percent and South32 shares jumped over 9 percent after industrial metals advanced overnight.
Also, stronger-than-expected manufacturing data improved the sentiment. Even Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) fell 1.1%, leading the decliners of the Dow Jones industrials.
"The speech didn't break any new ground, but it was much more orderly and methodical than we are used to hearing".
The South Korean market is closed for a public holiday.