Stocks slip as Dow loses hold on 17,000


NEW YORK (MarketWatch) —U.S. stocks continued their retreat from records Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average undercutting 17,000 after breaking through that milestone level on Thursday.

Earnings season will get its unofficial kickoff after the market’s close, as Alcoa Inc. releases its second-quarter results. Tuesday is expected to be light on top-tier economic releases, although job openings data and two Federal Reserve speakers are on tap.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average(^DJI) dropped 51 points, or 0.3%, 16,973, while the S&P 500(^GSPC)  shed 5 points, or 0.3%, to 1,972. The Nasdaq Composite(^IXIC) lost 8 points, or 0.2%, to 4,443.

On Monday, equities pulled back from record closes achieved at the end of last week, with the Dow industrials (^DJI) finishing down 0.3% but holding above 17,024.21.

Before Tuesday’s open, a small-business optimism index showed a June dip amid a big fall in those who expect the economy to improve. Fresh figures for job openings are coming at 10 a.m. Eastern, and a consumer-credit report is due at 3 p.m. Read more: Two of Yellen’s favorite jobs indicators are coming Tuesday

Mixed in with the data, Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker will speak at 1 p.m. Eastern and Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota at 1:45 p.m.

After the close, Alcoa (AA) is forecast to report per-share earnings of 12 cents on revenue of $5.61 billion for the second quarter. Shares were up 0.4%. Check out: What to watch for in Alcoa earnings

Expectations for second-quarter earnings have been “dialed down, so it should be easy for the corporates to impress, although the big figure many will be watching now is whether the Dow can indeed hold on to that 17,000 level,” said Joao Monteiro, analyst at Valutrades, in a note.


Among individual stocks, Groupon Inc.(GRPN)  jumped 5% after B. Riley upgraded the daily-deals site to buy, while Delta Air Lines Inc.(DAL) was lower again, sliding 3.5%, after dropping sharply in two of the past three sessions. Read more in the Movers & Shakers column

In other markets, the Nikkei 225 index (NIK.V) closed down 0.4%, though the rest of Asia largely held steady. The Stoxx Europe 600 (XSTX:SXXP) pulled back after weak German trade data supported the view that economic activity in the country is slowing.

Gold prices (XCEC:GCQ4) pushed higher, while crude oil also gained. The British pound (ICAP.C:GBPUSD)slipped on unexpectedly weak U.K. factory data.

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Victor Reklaitis is a New York-based markets writer for MarketWatch. Follow him on Twitter @VicRek.

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