U.S. Stocks Pull Back as Energy Shares Drop

By Akane Otani and Jon Sindreu Features Dow Jones Newswires

Declines in shares of banks pulled the Dow Jones Industrial Average lower Tuesday.

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The blue-chip index fell 50 points, or 0.2%, to 21030.71, with Goldman Sachs Group and J.P. Morgan Chase posting among the biggest losses for the day. The S&P 500 slipped less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite edged down less than 0.1%.

Major stock indexes have climbed with few large swings through the first half of the year, bolstered by strength in corporate earnings and the U.S. economy.

Many investors say they are now trying to gauge how long favorable economic data and relatively low market volatility can last. U.S. stocks look expensive relative to their historical averages, investors and analysts say, especially as many have trimmed their expectations for deregulation and cuts from the Trump administration.

"Right now, better economic data and earnings have given the Trump agenda the benefit of the doubt, but at some point, stocks will need that catalyst from fiscal stimulus and deregulation," said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.

Losses in bank stocks weighed on the Dow industrials, with Goldman Sachs shares shaving off 1.8% and J.P. Morgan shares sliding 1.2%.

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Shares of Amazon.com climbed, breaching $1,000 for the first time before paring gains. The firm's shares, which are categorized as part of the S&P 500 consumer-discretionary sector but often compared with technology stocks, have climbed 33% in 2017.

Energy shares in the S&P 500 fell 1% as U.S. crude slid 1% to $49.29 a barrel.

Government bonds strengthened, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note falling to 2.219% from 2.248% Friday. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

Some money managers are concerned that a few sectors of the U.S. economy, such as the auto industry, are flashing warning lights after years of good performance.

"Clearly we are late in the economic cycle," said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial. Still, Mr. Detrick said, it appears "we've got another year or two of good potential economic growth" left in the U.S.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.2%, weighed by declines in the shares of banks and insurance companies.

Earlier, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average closed broadly flat, having been down as much as 0.6% during the day, as the yen strengthened against the dollar. The South Korean Kospi fell 0.4% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2%.

Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan remained shut for the Dragon Boat Festival.

Write to Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com and Jon Sindreu at jon.sindreu@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 30, 2017 13:41 ET (17:41 GMT)