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Dow on track to break its 10 day record run

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was on track to break its 10-day record-setting streak on Friday, as investors reassessed the "Trump rally" after recent comments suggested that pro-growth policies might take longer to be implemented. U.S. markets are trading at record levels since the U.S. election, spurred by President Donald Trump's promises of tax reforms, reduced regulations and increased infrastructure spending. But, with Trump giving scant detail on his plans – including one on Thursday to bring millions of jobs back to the United States – markets have recently traded in a tight range. The benchmark S&P 500 index has not registered a move of at least one percent in either direction since Dec. 7."There is an expectation that the tax cuts promised by the new administration may not be as large or as early as expected," said Mohannad Aama, managing director at Beam Capital Management in New York."Investors had priced in the most rosy outlook for the market under the Trump administrations and now their reality is slowly changing as they realize a lot of the new policies will take time and maybe the market has run up too fast too soon."U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that any policy steps would probably have only a limited impact this year. Investor will likely get more clarity on Trump's plan on Tuesday, when he addresses a joint session of Congress.

Still, the Dow and the S&P were on track to end the week higher, with the Nasdaq set to register a loss. At 10:52 a.m. ET (1552 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average . DJI was down 43.87 points, or 0.21 percent, at 20,766.45. The S&P 500 . SPX was down 5.64 points, or 0.23 percent, at 2,358.17. The Nasdaq Composite . IXIC was down 16.41 points, or 0.28 percent, at 5,819.10.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the financial index's . SPSY 1.06 percent fall leading the decliners. Wells Fargo (WFC. N) fell 1.77 percent and weighed the most on the S&P, while Goldman Sachs' (GS. N) 1.75 percent drop pulled down the Dow. Oil prices were down about 1 percent after U.S. crude inventories rose for a seventh week, showing the market is still struggling to ease oversupply. [O/R]

U.S. new home sales rebound; consumer sentiment ebbs WASHINGTON New U.S. single-family home sales rose less than expected in January, likely hurt by flooding in California, but continued to point to a strengthening housing market despite higher prices and mortgage rates.

J. C. Penney holiday quarter sales drop, to shut 130-140 stores Department store operator J. C. Penney Co Inc reported a bigger-than-expected drop in same-store sales for the holiday quarter citing weak demand and competition from online retailers, sending shares down to more than a year low.

Exclusive: Trump says Republican border tax could boost U.S. jobs WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday spoke positively about a border adjustment tax being pushed by Republicans in Congress as a way to boost exports, but he did not specifically endorse the proposal.

German lawmakers call for inquiry into VW compliance chief exit

BERLIN Lawmakers from Volkswagen's home region called on Wednesday for an inquiry into the sudden departure of the German carmaker's compliance chief last month, saying they were concerned the supervisory board was not overseeing the business effectively. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt was hired in late 2015 to help Europe's biggest carmaker reform itself following its diesel emissions cheating scandal. But last month, after little more than a year in the job, she abruptly left. Some analysts and investors have long questioned whether Volkswagen (VOWG_p. DE), a business tightly controlled by its founding Porsche-Piech clan and its home state of Lower Saxony, could effectively reform itself. "(We fear) the state (Lower Saxony) and the supervisory board are only insufficiently carrying out their ownership role and controlling task," lawmaker Mathias Middelberg wrote in a letter to Stephan Weil, the prime minister of Lower Saxony. Spokespeople for Volkswagen (VW) and Weil did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Middelberg leads a delegation of 31 Lower Saxony lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Germany's lower house of parliament.

Weil sits on VW's 20-strong supervisory board which has the power to appoint and dismiss executives. In his letter dated Feb. 21 and seen by Reuters, Middelberg referred to media reports that said Hohmann-Dennhardt's role as compliance chief was destined to fail. Her hiring coincided with the appointment of Manfred Doess as head of legal affairs at VW. Doess is also compliance chief at Porsche SE (PSHG_p. DE), the holding company of the Porsche-Piech clan.

Middelberg said in his letter that Doess appeared to have more clout in the aftermath of the emissions scandal than Hohmann-Dennhardt even though he was her subordinate. Middelberg asked Weil to commission independent experts to investigate how the jurisdictions of Doess and Hohmann-Dennhardt were defined, whether a possible conflict of their duties was discussed by the supervisory board and whether the former compliance chief was granted a monthly pension of 8,000 euros ($8,411) in addition to 12 to 15 million euros in severance pay.

Spiegel Online first reported Middelberg's letter. Germany is holding federal elections in September 2017 and a regional vote in Lower Saxony in January 2018.