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MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Market Retreats From Records As Worries About Tax Plan Weigh

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11/09/2017 | 03:46pm CET

By Sara Sjolin and Anora M. Gaudiano, MarketWatch

Technology shares worst hit, down 0.8%

U.S. stocks were trading lower Thursday, pulling back from all-time highs as traders fretted over possible delays to passing Republican tax reform in Washington.

Investors were also waiting for another batch of corporate results, including those from Dish, and Disney, for more evidence of a better-than-expected third-quarter earnings season.

What are stock futures doing?

The S&P 500 fell 13 points, or 0.5%, to 2,581, with nearly all main 11 sector trading lower. Technology stocks were leading the losses, down 0.8%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 51 points, or 0.8%, to 6,737.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 102 points, or 0.4%, to 23,463.

The losses come after all three major gauges pushed further into record territory on Wednesday .

The three indexes finished at all-time highs on the same day for the 27th time in 2017. For the Dow, it was the 59th closing high of the year so far, while it was the 53rd for the S&P 500 and the 64th for the Nasdaq.

What's driving the market?

Hopes that President Donald Trump's administration will deliver a major U.S. tax overhaul--including a business-friendly tax cut--have boosted markets recently. But investors seem to be increasingly concerned the Republicans' tax reform bill will be delayed or not passed at all.

On Thursday, Senate Republicans are expected to unveil a tax plan that diverges from that of House Republicans by not fully repealing the estate tax .

The Federal Reserve isn't factoring the tax bill into its monetary policy forecasts because it is unclear still what will and won't be included, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on CNBC Thursday morning. "I need to see more of the details," she said. Mester isn't a voting member of the central bank's Federal Open Market Committee this year.

The tax bill written by House Republicans would boost the U.S. deficit by $300 billion more than lawmakers estimated, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. And over a decade, it would increase the deficit by $1.7 trillion, beyond the $1.5 trillion required to meet Senate rules under the recently passed budget.

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What are strategists saying?

"With concerns rising over possible delays in the U.S. tax reforms, equity bears could make an unwelcome appearance, consequently exposing global stocks to downside risks," said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, in a note.

"Investors should also keep in mind that geopolitical tensions and political risk in the background, have the ability spark risk aversion--resulting in market players offloading riskier assets for safe-haven investments," Otunuga said.

Which stocks are in focus?

Roku Inc.(>> Roku Inc) shares soared 34%. The video-streaming company in its first earnings report as a public company late Wednesday, posting profit and revenue that both beat forecasts .

Kohl's Corp. (>> Kohl's Corporation) shares tumbled 6.1% after lowering its 2018 earnings outlook and reporting quarterly profit that was slightly weaker than expected, though earnings exceeded estimates.

Office Depot Inc. (>> Office Depot Inc) shares jumped 7.3% after the firm reported quarterly results that were better than expected .

Sage Therapeutics Inc. shares surged 42% after the company said its postpartum-depression therapy has positive results in two late-stage clinical trials.

Shares of Vista Outdoor Inc. (>> Vista Outdoor Inc) dropped 28% after the gun and outdoor-sports-products company beat fiscal second-quarter profit expectations , but missed on sales and slashed its full-year outlook.

D.R. Horton Inc.(>> D. R. Horton Inc) stock rose 2% after beating profit and sales forecasts.

Shares of Macy's Inc.(M) rose 4.5% as the retailers earnings came ahead of expectations.

After the market closes, results from Walt Disney Co.(>> Walt Disney Company (The)), Nordstrom Inc.(>> Nordstrom, Inc.) and Nvidia Corp.(>> NVIDIA Corporation) are slated to release earnings. News Corp.(>> News Corp)--the owner of MarketWatch--is also on the earnings docket after hours.

Disney earnings preview:It's a transition period for the media and entertainment company

Shares of Snap Inc.(>> Snap Inc) fell 4.6% after a 15% loss posted on Wednesday that came after the company posted disappointing quarterly results .

Opinion:The outlook for Snap isn't as gloomy as the stock market suggests

Perrigo Co. PLC(>> Perrigo Company) jumped 10% after the health-products maker reported better-than-expected earnings.

What's on the economic calendar?

Weekly jobless claims for the week ended Nov. 4 rose by 10,000 to 239,000, but the more stable monthly average of claims decreased by 1,250 to 231,250 to the lowest level since March 1973.

That release will be followed by a reading on wholesale inventories for September at 10 a.m. Eastern.

What are other markets doing?

Asian markets closed mixed, with Japan's Nikkei 225 index turning a 2% gain at midday into a 0.2% loss by the close.

European markets swung lower , with the Stoxx Europe 600 index down 0.8% at the latest.

Crude-oil prices and gold were both marginally higher, while the ICE Dollar Index slipped 0.1% to 94.818.

--Mark DeCambre contributed to this article

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