MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks 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

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Wall Street was 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 22 points, or 0.1%, to 23,469, while those for the S&P 500 index lost 3.65 points, or 0.1%, to 2,587.25. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 Index gave up 8.50 points, or 0.1%, to 6,333.

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),

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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 the Trump administration will deliver major U.S. tax reforms -- including business-friendly tax cuts -- 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 home owners 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 is not factoring the tax bill into its monetary policy forecasts because it is unclear still what will and won't be included, Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said on CNBC Thursday morning. "I need to see more of the details," she said.

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).

Elsewhere, investors continued to monitor President Donald Trump's tour of Asia. Trump arrived in Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pacific-rim-countries-push-for-revised-tpp-deal-without-us-2017-11-08), where he is expected to discuss North Korea and international trade.

Trump may meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vietnam on Friday, although the meeting hasn't been confirmed, according to media reports (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-usa-putin-trump-meeting/prospects-for-putin-trump-meeting-at-apec-summit-unclear-idUSKBN1D90RZ?il=0).

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).

In earnings on Thursday, Dish Network Corp.(DISH) , D.R. Horton Inc.(DHI), Kohl's Corp. (KSS) 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, the publisher of this report -- 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) rose 1.2% 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).

Jeff Reeves: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 11% premarket after the health-products maker reported better-than-expected earnings.

On a downbeat note, shares of Square Inc.(SQ) gave up 1.9% 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% higher 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, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index down 0.1% at the latest.

Crude oil prices and gold were both marginally higher, while the ICE Dollar Index slipped 0.1% to 94.818.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 09, 2017 05:55 ET (10:55 GMT)