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MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Retreat From Records As Third-quarter Results Get Under Way

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10/12/2017 | 04:00pm CET

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica

J.P. Morgan posted better-than-expected earnings but trading slumped

U.S. stocks slipped lon Thursday, with major indexes retreating from record levels as investors read the first of a batch of third-quarter corporate results from the banking sector, led by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Citigroup Inc.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 29 points, or 0.1%, to 22,842. The S&P 500 index slid 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,550. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 7 points, or 0.1%, at 6,596.

All three indexes closed at records on Wednesday, extending their strong year-to-date moves. Thus far in 2017, the Dow has gained nearly 16%, the S&P is up 14%, and the Nasdaq has risen 23%.


What is driving markets?

Analysts expect banks to kick off what is likely to be strong season of third-quarter corporate results and extend the market's record-setting streak.

On the data front, initial weekly jobless claims fell by 15,000 to 243,000 in early October to mark the lowest level in six weeks. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast claims to total 250,000. The producer-price index rose 0.4% , matching consensus expectations.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar

Meanwhile, Fed Gov. Jerome Powell is due to give a speech about emerging-market economies at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time in Washington, D.C.

Fed Gov. Lael Brainard, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and former Fed chief Ben Bernanke are expected to take part in a panel discussion about monetary policy at 10:30 a.m. Eastern in Washington.

What are strategists saying?

"Basic fundamentals are good, companies are making money, and I think the market will be relatively strong throughout earnings season, but I don't see a huge spike up between now and the end of the year because a lot [of earnings optimism] has been priced in," said Gary Droz, managing director at MainLine Private Wealth.

Equities have gone an unusually long time without a pronounced pullbacks, with dips of even 3% in short supply. Droz said this was something that merited watching.

"We don't want to lull ourselves into a complete coma. Anything could trigger a drawdown; markets need to breathe," he said.

Which stocks look like key movers?

J.P. Morgan(>> JP Morgan Chase & Company) posted earnings and revenue that beat expectations , although its trading revenue was weak amid a quiet period for markets. Shares dipped 0.3%.

Citigroup(C)reported a higher-than-expected profit , sending shares up 0.3%. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF(>> Financial Select Sector SPDR (ETF)) rose 0.2%.

Both J.P. Morgan and Citigroup have been strong performers over the past year; J.P. Morgan is up 42% and Citigroup has gained more than 50% over the past 12 months.

Domino's Pizza Inc.(>> Domino's Pizza, Inc.) reported earnings and sales that beat expectations , but shares fell 3.4%.


Telecom AT&T Inc.(T), retailer J. Jill Inc.(>> J.Jill Inc) and networking equipment maker Juniper Networks Inc.(>> Juniper Networks, Inc.) look on track for down days after each company issued a profit warning late Wednesday.

Shares of AT&T lost 2.7% while J. Jill tumbled 49%. Juniper was down 1.1%.

CarGurus Inc.(CARG) is slated to have its trading Nasdaq debut on Thursday after pricing shares of its initial public offering above an expected range . The company helps buyers find deals on new and used cars.

What are other assets doing?

Bitcoin on Thursday was soaring to new all-time highs above $5,100 .

European stocks were little changed, while most Asian markets closed higher, with Japan's Nikkei benchmark finishing at a fresh 21-year high .

Gold futures gained , while oil futures pulled back as the International Energy Agency said the world's crude supply expanded in September on the back of steady U.S. production growth. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was roughly flat after falling Wednesday as minutes from the last Fed meeting showed some policy makers wondered whether an interest rate rise was needed in December.

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