Stocks fall as Wall Street worries about getting tax reform done this year; GE slides 3% – CNBC

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U.S. equities fell on Monday with investors worried that tax reform may not arrive in 2017.

The Dow Jones industrial average traded 50 points lower, with General Electric as the biggest decliner in the 30-stock index.

General Electric slashed its dividend by 50 percent as CEO John Flannery tries to turn around the 125-year-old conglomerate. The stock fell more than 3 percent.

The S&P 500 declined 0.2 percent, with industrials as the biggest declining sector. GE and Chipotle shares were the worst-performing stocks in the S&P 500.

The Nasdaq composite pulled back 0.3 percent.

Market sentiment has been on edge as of late. Investors are wondering whether the government will get tax reform done at all this year.

There are also worries that, even if tax reform gets done, a corporate tax cut could be delayed until 2019. These concerns came about after the Senate unveiled its own tax reform bill. In contrast, a House bill would slash the corporate rate immediately. The House wants to vote on its bill this week.

“As the tax debate intensifies, investors are becoming more skeptical” that lower corporate taxes will arrive this year, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. “I think the market is caught in a reality check right now.”

Equities had rallied to record highs amid renewed hope that the GOP-led Congress, along with the Trump administration, would be able to move forward with tax reform this year.

Elsewhere, there are no major economic data set for release Monday, but investors are looking ahead to key inflation data due later in the week.

Earnings rolled again Monday, with Tyson Foods and reporting quarterly results before the open. Switch is set to report after the bell.

Overseas, European markets fell broadly. The Stoxx 600 index, which is made up of a broad swath of European equities, fell 1 percent, while markets in Asia finished mostly in the red.

—CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.