MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Edge Lower In Shadow Of U.K. Terror Attacks

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica Features Dow Jones Newswires

Comey testimony, ECB meeting, U.K. election all due Thursday

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U.S. stocks were slightly lower on Monday, with major indexes retreating from record territory as investors grappled with a variety of geopolitical issues, both domestic and abroad.

This week will deliver testimony by fired Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, as well as the U.K. general election, and a European Central Bank meeting. Separately, the recent terror attack in the U.K. could amplify concerns, while a rift among Gulf states, which led to a rise in crude-oil prices, could further dictate investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 18 points, or 0.1%, to 21,188. The S&P lost 3.3 points to 2,436, a decline of 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 4 points, or 0.1%, to 6,301. All three indexes closed at records for a second straight session (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-poised-to-bust-out-new-records-as-optimism-about-payrolls-data-builds-2017-06-02) on Friday, as investors brushed aside a weaker-than-expected May jobs report.

The FTSE 100 index and European stocks were weaker on Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-inches-higher-as-pound-dips-after-london-terror-attack-2017-06-05), after Saturday evening's terror attack near London Bridge. Three assailants in a van mowed down pedestrians, then went on a knife rampage in Borough Market. At least seven people died and scores were injured, 21 critically.

"The market is in a wait-and-see mode. We're trading near all-time highs, earnings season is pretty much over, and we're waiting on clarity from central banks. Outside of the terrorism factor, which has been elevated, we're still looking for the next bullish catalyst," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of 50 Park Investments. "However, the fact that we're not down more after an attack like this is a sign of strength. So long as these kinds of attacks are fairly contained, they won't change the economic picture."

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Read:Police arrest 12 in London raids after terror attack (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/police-arrest-12-in-london-raids-after-terror-attack-2017-06-04)

The terror incident comes just days ahead of the U.K. election on Thursday. Investors will watch to see whether Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party, which is looking for backing for its strategy for exiting the European Union, will manage to keep its majority in parliament. The vote could lead to more uncertainty over Brexit.

Read:U.K. election--the worst, best and most likely scenarios for stocks world-wide (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-election-the-nightmare-best-case-and-most-likely-scenarios-for-stocks-worldwide-2017-06-01)

And see: 5 things to know about the U.K. general election this week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-things-to-know-about-the-uk-general-election-next-week-2017-06-01)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/when-is-the-uk-election-and-when-do-we-know-who-won-2017-06-01)Economic docket: The latest read on first-quarter output was revised higher, to 1.7% from 1%, while a read on productivity was raised from a -0.6% read to an unchanged level.

A turbulent week ahead: The U.K. election is just one of three key events expected on Thursday.

Former FBI head Comey, who was fired by U.S. President Donald Trump last month, is due to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russia's role in the U.S. presidential election on Thursday. Of key interest will be comments by Comey as to whether he was pressured to drop a probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

See:Top Democrat says there's smoke, but 'no smoking gun' yet in Russia probe (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/top-democrat-says-theres-smoke-but-no-smoking-gun-yet-in-russia-probe-2017-06-04)

And check out:Trump weighing whether to block Comey testimony to Senate (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-weighing-whether-to-block-comey-testimony-to-senate-2017-06-02)

A European Central Bank meeting in Talinn, Estonia is scheduled on the same day. Investors will be watching to see if the central bank offers any clues about when it will begin tapering its stimulus program.

In addition, stocks are entering a traditionally turbulent period, with Bespoke Investment noting that equities tend to fall around 0.79% in the two-week span between May 30 and June 13.

Read:Stock market bracing for potentially the stormiest stretch of trading this year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stock-market-bracing-for-potentially-the-most-explosive-stretch-of-trading-this-year-2017-06-03)

Stocks to watch: Shares of TG Therapeutics Inc.(TGTX) fell 0.7%, reversing an early gain after the company announced positive trial news over the weekend (https://www.wsj.com/articles/PR-CO-20170603-903084) regarding a combination treatment for patients with previously treated high-risk Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.

The drugmaker said it would share the data with the Food and Drug Administration later this year to discuss filing for accelerated approval.

Apple Inc.(AAPL) shares slipped 1.1% after Pacific Crest downgraded shares to sector weight from overweight (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-downgraded-as-analysts-say-investors-dazzled-by-iphone-8-arent-pricing-in-enough-risk-2017-06-05), saying all the good news from the iPhone 8 has been priced in, but not enough risk.

U.S. private-equity firm Blackstone Group L.P.(BX) has made a $1.98 billion takeover bid for real-estate investor Sponda PLC (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/blackstone-makes-2-bln-bid-for-finlands-sponda-2017-06-05)(SDA1V.HE) sending the Finnish company's shares surging over 20% on Monday.

Other markets: Gold prices inched higher. The British pound slipped after Saturday evening's terror attack (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pound-slips-against-dollar-in-wake-of-london-attack-2017-06-05). Asian stocks finished the day largely weaker (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-hold-steady-shaking-off-uk-turmoil-2017-06-04).

Oil prices pared a gain of more than 1% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-jump-after-saudi-arabia-other-middle-east-nations-cut-ties-with-qatar-2017-06-05) seen earlier in the European session and in Asian trading. The rise was driven by news that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates had cut relations with Qatar after accusing the country of interfering in internal affairs and supporting terrorism (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/saudi-arabia-bahrain-uae-sever-diplomatic-relations-with-qatar-2017-06-04).

That news left the Qatar QE index down more than 7% on Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/qatar-stocks-on-pace-for-biggest-1-day-drop-since-2014-after-mideast-diplomatic-rift-2017-06-05). The iShares MSCI Qatar Capped ETF (QAT), the largest exchange-traded fund to track the country's equity market, sank 9.7%.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 05, 2017 10:00 ET (14:00 GMT)