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Wall Street recedes from highs as quarterly reports loom
October 9, 2017 / 11:35 AM / 10 days ago

Wall Street recedes from highs as quarterly reports loom

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Wall Street fell from record levels on Monday as gains in Microsoft and other technology stocks failed to offset a drop in General Electric and a slide in healthcare stocks.

The S&P healthcare index .SPXHC moved 0.67 percent lower, weighed by a 3.61-percent slide in Medtronic (MDT.N) after the medical device maker warned that its quarterly profit would be impacted after Hurricane Maria hit its operations in Puerto Rico.

The S&P 500 has rallied 14 percent in 2017 and last week hit record highs, buoyed by strong company earnings and enthusiasm that President Donald Trump will cut corporate taxes.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) and Citigroup (C.N) will report profits on Thursday, kicking third-quarter corporate reporting season into high gear as investors look for strong growth to justify pricey valuations.

“Unlike the restaurant chains, movie chains and homebuilders and some of the discretionary stocks hurt by the hurricanes, I don’t expect the banks to be affected by the non-recurring blips during the quarter,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Overall, earnings at S&P 500 companies are expected to have increased 4.8 percent last quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data, down from the double-digit growth recorded in the first two quarters of this year.

GE shares (GE.N) sank 3.94 percent after the conglomerate named a new CFO and said it gave activist investment firm Trian Fund Management a board seat.

Nvidia (NVDA.O) rose 2.26 percent and the S&P 500 information technology index .SPLRCT added 0.24 percent, bringing its gain in 2017 to 28 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI declined 0.06 percent to end at 22,761.07, while the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.18 percent to 2,544.73.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 0.16 percent to 6,579.73.

The CBOE Volatility index .VIX - Wall Street’s fear gauge - rose 0.77 point to 10.42, its highest in two weeks.

Shares of cinema stocks AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC.N) and Regal Entertainment (RGC.N) fell more than 4 percent after domestic opening weekend ticket sales for science fiction sequel “Blade Runner 2049” fell short of expectations.

Also weighing on the healthcare sector, Express Scripts (ESRX.O) lost 5 percent after Raymond James downgraded the stock to “underperform” from “market perform”.

Tesla (TSLA.O) fell 3.91 percent after pushing back the unveiling of its big rig truck to mid-November.

Viacom (VIAB.O) slipped 6.37 percent after Citigroup downgraded the stock to “sell”, citing risks that pay-TV firms would stop carrying its channels.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.21-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.49-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

About 4.4 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, well below the 6.1 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by James Dalgleish

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