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

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11/09/2017 | 05:31pm CET

By Sara Sjolin and Anora M. Gaudiano, MarketWatch

Technology shares worst hit, down 0.9%

U.S. stocks lost ground Thursday, pulling back from all-time highs as traders fretted over possible delays to passing Republican tax-cut legislation in Washington.

A selloff in so-called FANG stocks, that include Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google's parent Alphabet, were also weighing on sentiment.

What are stock indexes doing?

The S&P 500 fell 13 points, or 0.5%, to 2,580, with nine of the 11 main sectors trading lower. Technology stocks were leading the losses, down 1.1%. The FANG+ futures of 10 stocks that include the largest technology companies were down 0.8%.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 128 points, or 0.5%, to 23,435.

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?

"Sometimes you don't need a reason for markets to have a normal 3%-5% correction after a huge run-up. It is possible today is one of those days," said Mark Kepner, managing director of sales and trading at Themis Trading.

Kepner said worries over the Republican-controlled House's ability to pass the tax bill is likely weighing on small-cap stocks.

"Smaller companies and businesses are more sensitive to the corporate tax cut, so their prices will reflect such fears, unlike multinationals, that already have low effective tax rates," Kepner 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.

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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