MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Turn Lower As Geopolitics Return To The Fore

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica Features Dow Jones Newswires

Extended controversies could further cloud the prospect of legislation seen as market friendly

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U.S. stocks turned firmly lower on Tuesday, but were off their lowest levels of the session, after Donald Trump Jr. released a chain of emails showing him discussing plans to obtain potentially damaging information on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her race for the White House against President Donald Trump back last fall.

Major indexes had been little changed throughout much of the morning's trading, as Wall Street appeared to be holding off on making big bets ahead of key events later this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average most recently was down 31 points, or 0.1%, to 21,378, but earlier had fallen more than 120 points. The S&P 500 lost about 6 points to 2,422. The Nasdaq Composite Index was trading flat at 6,180, but also had been down firmly before trimming its sudden decline.

The emails with publicist Rob Goldstone, show that the son of President Donald Trump was told the Russian government had information that would incriminate Clinton (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/donald-trump-jr-releases-emails-about-his-russian-lawyer-meeting-2017-07-11). The news was the latest development in a controversy between Trump's administration and the Russian government that has enveloped Washington.

"There are legitimate concerns that something could blow up with respect to the Russian scandal, and that could be enough to temper a market that has been moving up," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank. "It's fair to think that absent any good news on economic fundamentals or on legislation coming out of Washington, that additional worries about scandal can't help the market."

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Wall Street has risen firmly this year, with the Dow and S&P both up more than 8% thus far in 2017. The Nasdaq's advance has been sharper, up almost 15%, boosted by an extended rally in large-capitalization technology shares, a sector that has pulled back recently.

Much of the market's postelection rally has come on hopes that the Trump administration would push through legislation on tax reform and spending that could accelerate economic growth and stimulate corporate profits. Controversies with Russia are seen as making the passage of such initiatives less likely.

See also:Is Janet Yellen still calling the tune in financial markets? (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-janet-yellen-still-calling-the-tune-in-financial-markets-2017-07-10)

Traders are also looking ahead to the start to the next earnings season. Key companies, including such major banks as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Citigroup Inc. (C), are scheduled to report on Friday. By and large, financials are expected to post mediocre trading revenue this quarter (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bank-earnings-expect-another-meh-quarter-of-weak-trading-revenue-2017-07-10).

Individual movers: Shares in PepsiCo Inc.(PEP) fell 0.6% despite the producer of snacks and soft drinks posting better-than-expected earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pepsico-profit-and-revenue-beat-estimates-2017-07-11).

Amazon.com Inc.'s stock (AMZN) slipped 0.7%. The online retailer will be in view as its Prime Day promotion is in full swing on Tuesday.

See:6 money-saving tips for Amazon Prime Day--even if you're not a member (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/6-money-saving-tips-for-amazon-prime-day-even-if-youre-not-a-member-2017-07-10)

And read:Amazon is taking away brands' power, throwing another industry into turmoil (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-is-taking-away-the-power-of-brand-names-throwing-another-industry-into-turmoil-2017-07-10)

Amicus Therapeutics Inc. (FOLD) surged 25% in heavy trading after the Food and Drug Administration cleared the company to submit a new drug application (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amicus-therapeuticss-soars-on-heavy-volume-after-fda-clears-nda-submission-for-fabry-disease-treatment-2017-07-11) for its Fabry disease treatment.

Halcon Resources Corp.(HK) soared 45% after it agreed to sell its Williston Basin assets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/halcon-resources-to-sell-williston-basin-assets-for-14-billion-in-cash-2017-07-11)to a unit of Bruin E&P Partners for $1.4 billion in cash.

Other markets: Most Asian markets closed with gains (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-rise-driven-by-tech-stock-gains-2017-07-11) on Tuesday, while European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-stuck-in-tight-ranges-as-traders-wait-for-yellen-2017-07-11) were largely lower. Oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-build-on-rebound-amid-production-cap-talk-for-libya-nigeria-2017-07-11) moved down after Monday's rally (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-rebound-as-some-see-last-weeks-selloff-as-overdone-2017-07-10). Gold futures also slipped, and a key dollar index inched higher.

Economic news: A June reading on small-business sentiment arrived before the opening bell, showing a decline (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/small-business-sentiment-falls-as-economic-expectations-slide-sharply-2017-07-11). It's the fifth month in a row without an increase.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

On the Fed front for Tuesday, Fed Gov. Lael Brainard is due to give speech on monetary policy at 12:30 p.m. Eastern at a New York Fed conference. At 1:20 p.m. Eastern, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is scheduled to take part in a Q&A at the Minnesota Women's Economic Roundtable.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 11, 2017 11:59 ET (15:59 GMT)