Worries about Comey, U.K. election, Qatar curb 'risk appetite'
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U.S. stocks edged lower on Tuesday as investors turned cautious ahead of a key foreign election and uncertainties surrounding President Donald Trump which are likely to hamper his economic agenda.
Analysts said investors are in a risk-off mode as they wait for the outcome of the U.K. general election, a policy meeting of the European Central Bank and former Federal Bureau of Investigation boss James Comey's testimony to a Senate panel on Thursday.
Read:What to watch when James Comey testifies to the Senate on Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-to-watch-when-james-comey-testifies-to-the-senate-on-thursday-2017-06-05)
The S&P 500 was off by 3 points, or 0.1%, to 2,432, with seven of the 11 main sectors trading lower. Consumer discretionary and financials were leading the losses.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 21 points, or 0.1%, to 21,162, with more than half of the 30 components in negative territory. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.(WMT) and Walt Disney Company(DIS) were the top decliners.
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The Nasdaq Composite Index edged down 4 points to 6,290.
"We expect sideways markets over the short-term due to seasonality -- summer months tend to be quieter -- and investors continue to react to headline news," said Lisa Kopp, head of Traditional Investment Group at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.
Kopp still expects the S&P 500 to finish the year higher, supported by fundamentals.
Read:Robust stock market breadth could pave the way to fresh records (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/robust-stock-market-breadth-could-pave-the-way-to-fresh-records-2017-06-05)
On the whole, financial market volatility is expected to pick up ahead of Thursday's testimony from former FBI head James Comey, which is likely to deal with the Trump administration's ties with Russia, according to Sireen Harajli, a foreign exchange at Mizuho Americas.
"This will bring back doubts regarding the administration's ability to implement its economic agenda," she said in a note.
Other markets:European markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-set-for-1-week-low-as-caution-sets-in-2017-06-06) lost ground across the board while Asian equities finished mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-slip-as-investors-turn-cautious-2017-06-05).
Oil futures rose 1% edged lower and a key dollar index was slightly lower after earlier showing a bigger loss and touching levels last seen in November (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-falls-against-yen-as-analysts-see-flight-to-safety-due-to-geopolitical-fears-2017-06-06).
Gold futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-rises-looks-to-settle-at-7-week-high-2017-06-06), the Japanese yen (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-falls-against-yen-as-analysts-see-flight-to-safety-due-to-geopolitical-fears-2017-06-06) and Treasurys , all assets deemed as safety plays, were finding buyers in part on concerns about a diplomatic row between Qatar (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/saudi-arabia-bahrain-uae-sever-diplomatic-relations-with-qatar-2017-06-04) and other Middle Eastern nations.
Read: What you need to know about Saudi Arabia's break with Qatar (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-saudi-arabias-spat-with-qatar-2017-06-05)
Economic news:The number of job openings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-job-openings-hit-record-high-6-million-2017-06-06) in the United States rose in April to a record high, but the pace of hiring slipped to a one-year low in another sign the economy is running out of people with enough skills to fill empty positions.
Individual movers: Shares in Apple Inc.(AAPL) rose 0.3%, putting the gadgets giant on track to recover somewhat from Monday's 1% drop.
That fall came after Apple unveiled its HomePod smart speaker and other new offerings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-bets-that-youll-adopt-these-3-tech-habits-2017-06-05), and as Pacific Crest analysts downgraded the stock (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 of the upside from the next iPhone is already priced in.
Amazon.com Inc.(AMZN) is dropping the price for its Prime membership for low-income shoppers (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-cuts-prime-fee-for-low-income-shoppers-as-it-takes-on-wal-mart-2017-06-06). The move is seen as taking aim at Wal-Mart, which counts on shoppers who receive government assistance for a large percentage of its sales. Wal-Mart shares were down nearly 2%, while Amazon shares were up 0.2%.
21st Century Fox Inc.(FOX) (FOX) shares fell 0.5% after the media giant said it is getting into the mobile videogame business, paying tens of millions of dollars for game studio Aftershock, a Wall Street Journal report said (https://www.wsj.com/articles/fox-buys-mobile-game-maker-aftershock-1496742304).
Struggling Toshiba Corp.(6502.TO) (6502.TO) has granted preferential negotiating rights for its semiconductor unit to U.S. chip maker Broadcom Ltd.(AVGO), said a report from the Asahi Shimbun (http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201706060045.html), a Japanese newspaper. Broadcom shares rose 0.8%.
Michaels Cos.(MIK) shares skidded 7.9% after the crafts retailer reported earnings below Wall Street's expectations and downgraded its full-year outlook.
--Victor Reklaitis contributed to this report.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 06, 2017 13:13 ET (17:13 GMT)