U.S. stocks ended lower after wavering in a tight range Tuesday, as Wall Street pondered over comments from British Prime Minister Theresa May on Brexit.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 58.96 points, or 0.30 percent, to 19,826.77. The S&P 500 decreased 6.75 points, or 0.30 percent, to 2,267.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 35.39 points, or 0.63 percent, to 5,538.73.
Britain will leave the European single market, restrict access to the country by EU citizens and end the jurisdiction in Britain of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), May said Tuesday in her toughest ever speech.
May said she wants Britain to remain as a “best friend and neighbor” to Europe, but also reach out to the rest of the world as a global trading nation, to countries such as China, Brazil and the Gulf States.
She added, however, the U.K. government will put the Brexit deal it agrees with the European Union to a parliamentary vote.
Analysts said that May’s speech was expected to be catastrophic, but she has managed the expectations and delivered the speech very well.
In corporate news, shares of Morgan Stanley dropped 3.79 percent to 42.15 U.S. dollars even though the investment bank reported better-than-expected quarterly results.
U.S. stocks were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On Friday, U.S. stocks finished mixed, with the Nasdaq setting a new closing record. Enditem