MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Poised To Lose Grip Of Record Highs On Delay Worries About Tax Plan

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Earnings from retail majors Kohl's and Macy's are due premarket

Continue Reading Below

U.S. stocks were set for a downbeat day on Thursday, pulling back from all-time highs as traders fretted over possible delays to passing Republican tax reform in Washington.

Investors were also waiting for another batch of corporate results, including those from Macy's, Dish and Disney, for more evidence of a better-than-expected third-quarter earnings season.

What are stock futures doing?

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 70 points, or 0.3%, to 23,420, while those for the S&P 500 index lost 8.9 points, or 0.3%, to 2,582. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 Index gave up 29 points, or 0.5%, to 6,311.

The losses come after all three major gauges--the Dow average , the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite Index --pushed further into record territory on Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-set-to-cool-its-heels-after-another-record-close-2017-11-08),

Continue Reading Below

The three indexes finished at all-time highs on the same day for the 27th time in 2017. For the Dow, it was the 59th closing high of the year so far, while it was the 53rd for the S&P 500 and the 64th for the Nasdaq.

What's driving the market?

Hopes that President Donal Trump's administration will deliver major U.S. tax reforms--including business-friendly tax cut--have helped boost markets recently. But investors seem to be increasingly concerned the Republicans' tax reform bill will get delayed or not passed at all.

On Thursday, Senate Republicans are expected to unveil a tax plan that diverges from that of House Republicans by not fully repealing the estate tax (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-claims-hed-be-big-loser-from-tax-plan-how-the-senates-bill-may-differ-from-houses-2017-11-08).

See:How the Republican tax plan would affect homeowners and buyers (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-claims-hed-be-big-loser-from-tax-plan-how-the-senates-bill-may-differ-from-houses-2017-11-08)

The Federal Reserve isn't factoring the tax bill into its monetary policy forecasts because it is unclear still what will and won't be included, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on CNBC Thursday morning. "I need to see more of the details," she said. Mester isn't a voting member of the central bank's Federal Open Market Committee this year.

The tax bill written by House Republicans would boost the U.S. deficit by $300 billion more (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cbo-says-tax-bill-would-increase-deficit-by-17-trillion-2017-11-08) than lawmakers estimated, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. And over a decade, it would increase the deficit by $1.7 billion, beyond the $1.5 trillion required to meet Senate rules under the recently passed budget.

Read:1 in 5 would see tax hike in a decade under Republican bill, congressional analysis finds (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/one-in-five-would-see-tax-hike-in-a-decade-under-republican-bill-congressional-analysis-finds-2017-11-07).

What are strategists saying?

"With concerns rising over possible delays in the U.S. tax reforms, equity bears could make an unwelcome appearance, consequently exposing global stocks to downside risks," said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, in a note.

"Investors should also keep in mind that geopolitical tensions and political risk in the background, have the ability spark risk aversion--resulting in market players offloading riskier assets for safe-haven investments," Otunuga said.

Which stocks are in focus?

Roku Inc.(ROKU) shares soared 30% ahead of the open. The video-streaming company in its first earnings report as a public company late Wednesday, posting profit and revenue that both beat forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/here-are-the-numbers-that-sent-roku-stock-soaring-after-its-first-earnings-report-2017-11-08).

Kohl's Corp. (KSS) shares tumbled after lowering its 2018 earnings outlook and reporting quarterly profit that was slightly weaker than expected, though earnings exceeded estimates.

Office Depot Inc. (ODP) reported quarterly results that were better than expected, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/office-depot-beats-estimates-despite-hurricane-impact-2017-11-09) but said it expects its full-year 2017 sales to fall below the previous year due to store closures, but reported earnings that were

Sage Therapeutics Inc. shares surged 44% in premarket trade Thursday after the company said its postpartum-depression therapy (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sage-therapeutics-stock-surges-50-on-positive-trial-results-in-postpartum-depression-2017-11-09) has positive results in two late-stage clinical trials.

Shares of Vista Outdoor Inc. (VSTO) fell in premarket trade Thursday, after the gun and outdoor-sports-products company beat fiscal second-quarter profit expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/vista-outdoors-stock-tumbles-after-sales-miss-and-slashed-outlook-offsets-profit-beat-2017-11-09), but missed on sales and slashed its full-year outlook. For the quarter to Oct. 1, the company swung to a net loss of $114.7 million, or

Dish Network Corp.(DISH) shares were trending down in premarket trade on Thursday after the company reported third-quarter earnings below Wall Street expectations. Shares were about 1% lower.

Later in the morning, D.R. Horton Inc.(DHI), and Macy's Inc.(M) are expected to report ahead of the open.

After the market closes, results from Walt Disney Co.(DIS), Nordstrom Inc.(JWN) and Nvidia Corp.(NVDA) are slated to release earnings. News Corp.(NWS.AU)--the owner of MarketWatch--is also on the earnings docket after hours.

Disney earnings preview:It's a transition period for the media and entertainment company (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/disney-earnings-its-a-transition-period-for-the-media-and-entertainment-company-2017-11-01)

Shares of Snap Inc.(SNAP) fell 2% ahead of the bell, mildly rebounding from a 15% loss posted on Wednesday that came after the company posted disappointing quarterly results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/snaps-stock-sinks-as-disappointing-results-outweigh-large-tencent-stake-2017-11-08).

Opinion:The outlook for Snap isn't as gloomy as the stock market suggests (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-death-of-snap-is-being-greatly-exaggerated-2017-11-08)

Perrigo Co. PLC(PRGO) jumped 13% premarket after the health-products maker reported better-than-expected earnings.

On a downbeat note, shares of Square Inc.(SQ) gave up 1.5% even after the financial services company late Wednesday released earnings that beat forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/square-beats-on-earnings-and-raises-outlook-but-shares-sink-2017-11-08).

Apple Inc.(AAPL) inched 0.2% lower in Thursday's premarket trade, a day after closing above the $900 billion milestone (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-is-one-milestone-closer-to-1-trillion-market-cap-2017-11-08) for the first time.

What's on the economic calendar?

Weekly jobless claims for the week ended Nov. 4 are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, forecast to reach 231,000, compared with 229,000 the previous week. That release will be followed by a reading on wholesale inventories for September at 10 a.m. Eastern.

See:MarketWatch's economic calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

What are other markets doing?

Asian markets closed mixed, with Japan's Nikkei 225 index turning a 2% gain at midday into a 0.2% loss by the close.

European markets swung between small gains and losses (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-head-for-3rd-loss-as-burberry-plunges-2017-11-09), with the Stoxx Europe 600 index down 0.1% at the latest.

Crude-oil prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-steady-near-2-year-high-as-geopolitics-stir-supply-concerns-2017-11-09) and gold were both marginally higher, while the ICE Dollar Index slipped 0.1% to 94.818.

--Mark DeCambre contributed to this article

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 09, 2017 07:37 ET (12:37 GMT)