By Mark DeCambre and Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch
Crude oil prices take a sharp slide; Shares of Apple and Boeing weigh on blue chips
U.S. stock benchmarks came off their intraday lows late-morning Tuesday, with Wall Street trading skittishly in the face of uncertainty around efforts to reform tax policy and a downturn in crude-oil futures.
Read: Fed's Yellen: It's confusing with so many voices on the FOMC (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-yellen-its-confusing-with-so-many-voices-on-the-fomc-2017-11-14)
What are the main benchmarks doing?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded off 60 points, or 0.2%, to 23,383, but the blue-chip gauge had been down by as much as about 170 points. Declines in shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Apple Inc. (AAPL), Walt Disney Co.(DIS), and DowDuPont Inc. (DWDP) were dragging the average lower.
The S&P 500 index fell 7 points, or 0.3%, at 2,577, with only the utilities and consumer-staples sector, considered defensive plays, trading higher. The sectors most tied to the crude market, energy and materials led losses, each down at least 1% as the International Energy Agency said the oil-price rally may be ephemeral (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-drift-south-as-iea-cuts-global-demand-forecast-2017-11-14).
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 20 points, 3%, to 6,735.
Need to know: The S&P 500 has been in the black all year--here's what typically happens next (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-sp-500-has-been-in-the-black-all-year-heres-what-typically-happens-next-2017-11-14)
What is driving markets?
Concerns about delays in much-anticipated corporate tax cuts out of Washington have been acting as a drag on stocks.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin late Monday ruled out any increase in the corporate tax rate to above 20% (https://www.wsj.com/articles/steven-mnuchin-says-trump-wont-bend-on-corporate-tax-rate-of-20-1510625153), via an interview at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council gathering on Monday. "It's not going up," Mnuchin said. "I can tell you this is one of the things the president feels very strongly about."
Yellen, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda and Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney took part in a moderated discussion on communication and markets, which began at 5 a.m. Eastern.
In comments at that meeting, Yellen stressed that all forward guidance from the Fed should be conditional on the outlook for the economy, meaning forward looking statements won't always be a certainty. "Market participants seek more than central banks are prepared to offer," she said.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mohamed El-Erian (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/white-house-considering-mohamed-el-erian-for-fed-vice-chair-post-report-2017-11-14), chief economic adviser at Allianz, is being considered for the No. 2 role at the Federal Reserve. President Donald Trump nominated Fed. Gov. Jerome Powell replace Chairwoman Janet Yellen when her term as Fed boss ends in February.
What are strategists saying?
"'Buy the dip'" mentality has been in play throughout the year, especially because many investors don't want to miss the opportunity of a potential rally when the U.S. lowers the corporate tax rate, however, the sharp differences between the House and the Senate suggest there are still many barriers to overcome," Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, in a note to clients.
"Overstretched valuations, tighter monetary policies, geopolitical risks, a slowdown and high debt levels in China and low inflation, are some of the factors that could potentially trigger a market correction. However, all of these warnings are being ignored, and stocks continue to score new highs," said Sayed.
"This is just a two-steps forward, one-step back kind of dance, and I just think that we are seeing that one step back," said Crista Huff, chief analyst at Cabot Undervalued Stocks Advisor. "It's perfectly natural" to have the markets pull back, she said. Huff said the trend, however, has been "incredibly bullish."
J.J. Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade, said Wall Street is more sensitive absent other major catalysts as third-quarterly earnings has nearly concluded. "The tax bill becomes a point to make people unsettled especially at a time where we are not having a ton of news outside of that," he said.
Which stocks look like key movers?
Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.(BWLD) shares shot up 23% as The Wall Street Journal reported that a private-equity firm had bid more than $2.3 billion for the restaurant chain. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/buffalo-wild-wings-stock-soars-after-report-of-acquisition-bid-2017-11-13)
(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/buffalo-wild-wings-stock-soars-after-report-of-acquisition-bid-2017-11-13)Advance Auto Parts Inc.(AAP) shares shot up 19% after reporting a profit beat that offset a sales miss.
Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS) fell 5.9% after results that included a weak 2018 outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dicks-sporting-goods-shares-sink-on-weak-2018-outlook-2017-11-14).
General Electric Co. (GE) extended Monday's downturn amid its restructuring under new CEO John Flannery. The Dow component led the Dow lower, in percentage terms, for a second straight session. Shares were down 6.1%.
Home Depot Inc. (HD) shares gained 0.3%. The home-improvement giant reported third-quarter earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/home-depot-beats-estimates-raises-guidance-2017-11-14) that beat analysts' estimates and increased its guidance for the year partly because of hurricane-related business.
TJX Cos., (TJX) fell 4% after the off-price retailer reported third-quarter revenue and same-store sales that fell below consensus (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tjx-shares-sink-after-revenue-same-store-sales-miss-2017-11-14).
What economic data releases are due?
On the data front, the National Federation of Independent Business said its optimism index rose to 103.8 in October (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/small-business-confidence-ticks-up-as-lower-taxes-take-shape-2017-11-14) from 103.
A reading for producer prices in October showed a rise of 0.4%, topping expectations of an increase of 0.1% from economists polled by MarketWatch.
Check out: MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)
What are other assets doing?
European stocks faced a sixth day of losses (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-face-6th-day-of-losses-as-euro-marches-higher-2017-11-14), as the euro climbed. Asian markets were mostly lower, led by a sharp decline in Australian stocks and not helped by news China industrial production fell (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/china-industrial-output-slows-in-oct-as-expected-2017-11-13) in October.
Gold futures traded little changed, up less than 0.1% at $1,280.30 an ounce, while U.S. traded oil futures tumbled $1.48, or 2.5%, to $55.36 a barrel.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was down (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-struggles-as-euro-captures-3-week-high-2017-11-14) 0.5% at 94.135. The British pound fell against the dollar on news of weaker-than-expected U.K. inflation.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 14, 2017 11:34 ET (16:34 GMT)
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