MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Slide As Energy Weakness Offsets Retail Rally; Dow Bucks Trend

By Sue Chang, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica Features Dow Jones Newswires

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U.S. stocks edged lower on Monday, retreating slightly from record levels hit earlier in the session, as traders returned to work in the first full trading session after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Retailer stocks were in focus amid Cyber Monday and the recent start of the holiday shopping season. Those positive moves were offset by weakness in the energy sector, the biggest decliner of the day.

What are stocks doing?

The S&P 500 was down less than a point to 2,601 while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 11 points, or 0.2%, to 6,877. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average bucked the trend to edge higher, rising 28 points, or 0.1%, to 23,586.

All three indexes hit intraday records in early trading before paring those gains.

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Read:Throw out the stock-market playbook as S&P 500 nears 3,000 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/time-to-throw-out-the-stock-market-playbook-as-sp-500-nears-3000-2017-11-25)

What could help drive markets?

The retail sector took center stage as the holiday shopping season continued. Cyber Monday shopping is expected to set an online sales record, according to forecasts from Adobe, which reported that Black Friday sales online hit a record $5.03 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/black-friday-online-sales-reach-record-5-billion-2017-11-25).

Among companies benefiting from that spending spree, Amazon.com(AMZN) rose 0.9%. The stock hit a record in early trading and was on track for its fourth straight record close (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-black-friday-records-push-jeff-bezoss-fortune-past-100-billion-2017-11-24). The stock was one of the biggest boosts to the consumer discretionary sector.

Among major retailers, American Eagle Outfitters(AEO) was up 1% while Dillard's Inc.(DDS) added 1.8%. Gap Inc.(GPS) rose 1.6%. On the downside, Macy's Inc.(M) fell 1.1%. The department store reported trouble with its credit-card systems (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/macys-stock-drops-amid-reports-of-black-friday-credit-card-glitch-2017-11-24) on Friday, with customers taking to Twitter to complain. The stock has lost more than 42% thus far in 2017.

Opinion: Investors can feel safe ignoring the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping reports (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/black-friday-shopping-wont-signal-the-stock-markets-december-path-2017-11-22)

Investors will also watch for developments surrounding the Republican tax plan, with a Senate vote on proposed tax changes expected this week--perhaps as early as Tuesday. Republican leaders have said they expect both the House and Senate will hammer out a deal on taxes before year-end. Hope of market-boosting tax reforms from President Donald Trump's administration is one catalyst helping drive U.S. stock markets higher over the past year.

Which stocks were active?

Shares of Time Inc.(TIME) rose 9.3% in heavy trading after Meredith Corp.(MDP), the publisher of Better Homes & Gardens and Allrecipes, struck a $1.85 billion deal to buy the magazine publisher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/meredith-bets-on-magazine-industry-with-185-billion-time-purchase-2017-11-26). Meredith shares climbed 11%.

On the downside, the energy sector fell 1.1%, tracking a decline in the price of crude oil (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-slip-from-2-year-high-as-traders-brace-for-opec-meeting-2017-11-27). The slide came as investors turned their attention to a coming OPEC meeting and hopes for an extension to a production-cut deal later this week.

Among the most actively traded names, Hess Corp. (HES) fell 3% while Marathon Oil(MRO) was down 3.9%. Chevron Corp. (CVX) lost 0.9%.

What are analysts saying?

"Expectations of tax reforms, in my opinion, have kept Wall Street optimistic throughout the year and stocks at record highs. It's time for U.S. policy makers to deliver, or the long-awaited correction will likely occur soon," said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

"The Senate is back from recess, and President Trump will meet senators on Tuesday. At this stage, neither economic data nor monetary policy will be given a lot of attention. It's all about fiscal policies, and without meaningful progress it's likely to be painful for stocks and the dollar," said Sayed in a note to clients.

The subdued trading is in keeping with historic patterns, according to some market participants.

"Two days after Turkey Day has indeed been something of turkey--a minus 0.39% average return and a higher close in only 19 of 53 years (36% of the time)," said E-Trade strategists in a note.

What economic events could move markets?

Among the Federal Reserve highlights this week, Jerome Powell, nominated by President Trump to be the next Fed chairman, will take questions from the Senate on Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/meet-the-next-fed-boss-same-as-the-old-boss-jerome-powell-to-face-senate-glare-2017-11-26). Fed. Gov. Powell is set to take over from outgoing Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who will testify to the Joint Economic Committee on Wednesday.

Opinion:The Trump Fed will fuel another huge stock-market rally (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-trump-fed-will-fuel-another-huge-stock-market-rally-2017-11-27)

On Monday, New York Fed President William Dudley is expected to appear in a moderated discussion at event sponsored by University of California, Berkeley, at 7 p.m. Eastern. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is due to take part in a moderated discussion at Winona State University at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

In the latest economic data, new-home sales hit their highest level in a decade in October (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-home-sales-surge-to-the-highest-in-a-decade-as-year-to-date-sales-rise-9-2017-11-27).

What are other assets doing?

European stocks posted mostly modest losses, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/banks-drugmakers-push-european-stocks-toward-1-week-high-2017-11-27) while Asia stocks fell (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinese-stocks-drop-again-samsung-weighs-down-kospi-2017-11-26), driven by a 1.4% loss for the Korean KOSPI Composite Index and a 0.9% loss for both China's Shanghai Composite Index and the Taiwan Taiex Weighed Index .

Morgan Stanley downgraded Samsung Electronics (005930.SE) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (2330.TW), which triggered sharp losses for those stocks in Asia.

U.S. oil futures slipped (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-slip-from-2-year-high-as-traders-brace-for-opec-meeting-2017-11-27) as investors looked ahead to the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and nonmember oil producers on Thursday.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was mostly flat although the euro moved higher against the U.S. currency (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-hovers-at-2-month-high-buoyed-by-hopes-for-german-breakthrough-2017-11-27), while gold futures was mostly unchanged.

Bitcoin surged to a new all-time high on Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-flirts-with-10000-milestone-as-mesmerizing-performance-continues-2017-11-27), making its way closer to a new milestone of $10,000, as it rose 2.1% to $9,517.55. At current levels, bitcoin has a market capitalization of more than $160 million, making it larger than such major stocks as General Electric Co.(GE) and Walt Disney Co.(DIS).

Read:Bitcoin is 'a bubble that is bound to burst,' analysts warn (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-bitcoin-fever-is-like-the-dot-com-bubble-in-one-chart-2017-11-21)

Barbara Kollmeyer and Sara Sjolin contributed to this article

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 27, 2017 13:16 ET (18:16 GMT)