U.S. Stocks Wobble After Rally

By Marina Force and Michael Wursthorn Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. stocks were little changed Thursday after major indexes closed at a trifecta of records two days in a row.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 17 points, or less than 0.1%, to 22175 in recent trading. The S&P 500 declined about 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2%.

Shares of Boeing mostly kept the Dow industrials afloat. The aerospace giant extended Wednesday's gains, rising 1.1%, after it increased 2019 production estimates for its 787 Dreamliner passenger jet.

Declines among brick-and-mortar retailers weighed on the S&P 500, with Tiffany and Under Armour among the index's biggest laggards. Shares of consumer staple companies also fell.

Meanwhile, energy stocks in the S&P 500 added 0.3%, buoyed by rising oil prices. U.S. crude has rebounded this week as data has pointed to falling global oil supplies and stronger demand.

The day's moves marked a pause for broader indexes after the S&P 500 logged three consecutive sessions of gains.

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Investors continue to debate the durability of the market's run, with some arguing strong earnings and economic growth will continue to support stocks, and others saying the rally's length makes them nervous. Future interest-rate hikes could add to volatility in the stock market, investors and analysts said.

"We're entering more and more into an environment where you may want to avoid passive investments," said Tom Stringfellow, chief investment officer of Frost Investments. "The risk is there, which could be a larger-than-expected rate hike or some significant geopolitical event."

Investors' expectations for an interest-rate increase jumped Thursday after data showed U.S. consumer prices rose last month by the most since January.

The consumer-price index, measuring what Americans pay for everything from medicine to home rent, rose 0.4% in August from a month earlier, the Labor Department said.

Federal-funds futures, used by investors to place bets on the Fed's rate-policy outlook, showed Thursday a roughly 53% chance of a rate increase by the end of the year, up from 31% a week ago, according to data from CME Group. Muted inflation readings throughout the year have made many investors question the Fed's plans to move forward with normalizing monetary policy.

"We're at a toss-up where a rate hike could happen in December," Jason Draho, head of tactical asset allocation Americas for UBS Group's U.S. wealth-management arm.

The dollar fell after the consumer price data was released. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others, was down 0.1%.

Government bonds edged lower, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note at 2.198% according to Tradeweb, compared with 2.194% on Wednesday. Yields rise as bond prices fall.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 edged up 0.1%, while stocks in Asia mostly finished lower after disappointing economic data from China.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average ended down 0.3% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.4%. South Korea's Kospi finished up 0.7%

Write to Michael Wursthorn at Michael.Wursthorn@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 14, 2017 12:34 ET (16:34 GMT)