MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Fights To Trade Above 22,000 As Stocks Struggle After Lackluster Services Report

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Tesla's stock jumps following quarterly results; Apple's shares weigh on Dow

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The Dow industrials on Thursday struggled to remain above the 22,000 level as the broader stock market traded modestly lower following a less-than-stellar round of economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded less than 0.1% higher at 22,023, supported by gains in Pfizer Inc. (PFE), but pressured by a decline in Apple Inc. (AAPL) after a run-up in the iPhone maker's stock on the heels of its well-received quarterly results.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index pulled back by 6 points, or 0.2%, at 2,471, pressured by the slumping energy and financials sectors, both off by at least 0.4%. Meanwhile, the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 22 points, or 0.4%, at 6,340.

A closely watched service-sector report from the Institute for Supply Management indicated that nonmanufacturing activity, also known as services, fell to 53.9% in July (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ism-services-index-slows-to-11-month-low-in-july-2017-08-03) from 57.4% in June.

Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a reading of 56.9%. Any reading above 50% indicates improving conditions. A reading of 50 indicates expansion.

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Services' slowing pace comes after an early reading of employment didn't stoke much of a market reaction, showing weekly jobless claims holding at a 44-year low, underlining the health of the labor market. Initial jobless claims from July 23 to July 29 declined by 5,000 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-jobless-claims-fall-by-5000-to-240000-2017-08-03)to 240,000, while the average of new claims over the past month fell to 241,750.

Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Schwab Center for Financial Research, said Thursday's pullback for stocks wasn't atypical of a market that has hit repeat records in the past year, fueled in part by hope for better corporate results and a pro-business atmosphere fostered by President Donald Trump's administration.

"Every time we see a major index hit a milestone...you see a little sideways action or a pullback. It's not at all uncommon," Frederick said.

Worries that equities are rising too quickly have stoked some fears that a severe, near-term downdraft is imminent but the Schwab analyst said the case for bullishness is still prevailing.

Upbeat earnings, relatively low rates and a downturn in the dollar, which supports revenues from multinational corporations, should offer tailwinds.

On Wednesday, the Dow rose by 52.32 points (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-rally-signals-dow-22000-at-the-open-nasdaq-to-surge-2017-08-02), or 0.2%, to an all-time closing high of 22,016.24, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite finished roughly unchanged.

Check out:All of the important Dow milestones in one chart (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/all-of-the-important-dow-milestones-in-one-chart-2016-12-28)

And see:How each Dow stock contributed to the 22,000 milestone (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-each-dow-stock-contributed-to-the-22000-milestone-2017-08-02)

Individual movers: Shares in Tesla Inc. (TSLA) traded 6.3% higher after electric-car maker posted a smaller-than-anticipated quarterly loss (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-shares-up-4-after-narrower-than-expected-quarterly-loss-2017-08-02) late Wednesday.

Read:Tesla cheered as results beat, but Wall Street braces for capital raise (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-cheered-as-results-beat-forecasts-but-wall-street-braces-for-another-capital-raise-2017-08-03)

And see:Tesla is a big public company, and Elon Musk must start acting like it (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-is-a-large-public-company-and-elon-musk-must-start-acting-like-it-2017-08-02)

American International Group Inc.(AIG) also looks on pace for an up day, with shares gaining 1.4% after the insurer's quarterly profit beat forecasts late Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/aigs-stock-rallies-after-profit-beat-2017-08-02).

Satellite-TV provider Dish Network Corp.(DISH) posted a sharp drop in quarterly earnings and weaker-than-expected revenue (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dish-networks-profit-falls-sharply-and-revenue-misses-expectations-2017-08-03), while cleaning products giant Clorox Co.'s (CLX) profit topped expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/clorox-profit-rises-above-expectations-while-sales-growth-matches-2017-08-03), as its sales matched views. Shares of Dish were off 2%, while Clorox's stock slipped 1.1%.

Kellogg Co. shares (K) rose 2.6% after the Frosted Flakes producer delivered better-than-expected second-quarter results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/kellogg-shares-edge-up-after-earnings-beat-2017-08-03). Net income was $282 million, or 80 cents per share, up from $280 million, or 79 cents per share, for the same period last year. Adjusted earnings-per-share was 97 cents, beating the 92-cent FactSet consensus.

Shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) plunged nearly 17% after the drugmaker missed fiscal second-quarter profit expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tevas-stock-plunges-on-heavy-volume-after-profit-miss-and-slashed-outlook-2017-08-03) and slashed its full-year outlook.

Allergan PLC(AGN) shares slipped by 1.3% even as the drugmaker lifted its full-year guidance for revenue in 2017 to $15.85 billion, compared with prior guidance of $15.8 billion.

Aetna Inc.'s(AET) shares climbed 3.4% after the health-care company's second-quarter earnings beat analyst forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/aetna-rises-31-premarket-after-earnings-beat-views-2017-08-03-6911746). Profit for the quarter came in at $1.2 billion, or $3.60 a share, up from $791 million, or $2.23 a share, a year ago.

Yum Brands Inc.'s(YUM) stock fell by 1.1% despite the fast-food conglomerate (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/yum-shares-rise-after-earnings-beat-same-store-sales-growth-2017-08-03) serving up beat on earnings and delivered same-store sales growth.

See:Kraft Heinz earnings--have revenue estimates fallen enough to be beatable? (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/kraft-heinz-earnings-have-revenue-estimates-fallen-enough-to-be-beatable-2017-08-01)

Economic news: A high-profile release (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ignoring-washington-chaos-companies-likely-kept-up-strong-hiring-in-july-2017-07-30) on the job market is due Friday: the U.S. government's monthly data on nonfarm payrolls.

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

Other markets:The British pound (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pound-climbs-as-traders-wait-for-boes-super-thursday-2017-08-03) lost ground as traders reacted to the Bank of England's "Super Thursday" releases. The U.K. central bank's Monetary Policy Committee voted to keep its key interest rate (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bank-of-england-holds-key-rate-at-025-in-6-2-vote-pound-drops-2017-08-03) at 0.25% in a 6-2 vote. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was up modestly.

Oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-pull-back-but-investors-stay-bullish-on-us-data-2017-08-03) were little changed, while gold futures pulled back. European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-wrestled-lower-with-siemens-shares-down-2017-08-03) were mixed, while Asian markets closed lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/kospi-slides-erasing-weeks-gains-as-asian-markets-pull-back-2017-08-02).

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 03, 2017 10:43 ET (14:43 GMT)