Wall Street pauses rally as utilities, industrials fall

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Market uncertainty amid possible government shutdown

ProfitableTrading.com senior strategist Jared Levy and UBS Senior Vice President of Wealth Management Jim Lacamp weigh in on what could happen to the markets if Congress is unable to avoid an impending government shutdown with a short-term continuing resolution.

Wall Street fell on Thursday as losses in industrials and interest-rate sensitive sectors offset marginal gains in tech stocks.

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Utilities .SPLRCU and real estate .SPLRCR dipped 0.6 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively. The two sectors, which are considered bond proxies, fell as yields on 10-year Treasury notes hit a 10-month high.

Boeing Co (NYSE:BA), a high-flying stock of late, fell 3.1 percent, alongside General Electric Co (NYSE:GE), which dropped 3.3 percent. Those two stocks weighed most heavily on the Dow, which sagged just a day after closing above 26,000 for the first time. They also contributed to the 0.6 percent decline in the industrials sector .SPLRCI.

“We’ll continue to see a tug-of-war between how fast the economy grows and how fast interest rates rise,” said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis. “It’s likely to lead to more volatility in 2018 than we saw in 2017.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 97.84 points, or 0.37 percent, to 26,017.81, the S&P 500 lost 4.53 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,798.03 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.23 points, or 0.03 percent, to 7,296.05.

Investors are keeping a close eye on corporate earnings reports, given the rise in stock valuations.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm about what tax reform will do, what repatriation will do,” said Michael O‘Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut. “Today, there’s just a bit of consolidation after a strong run-up.”

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) wrapped up earnings season for the big U.S. banks with a better-than-expected quarterly profit, driving modest gains in its shares.

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Bank of New York Mellon Corp (NYSE:BK) fell 4.4 percent after the custodian bank said it expected to book more in severance costs in 2018. It was the second-biggest decliner on the S&P.

Alcoa Corp (NYSE:AA) tumbled 7.0 percent after the aluminum producer’s earnings missed analysts’ estimates.

IBM and American Express shares were lower after the market close on Thursday following their quarterly earnings reports.

The possibility of a government shutdown also loomed, though Warne said she believed it would have more impact on Wall Street’s performance if an agreement was not reached by the end of Friday.

The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to advance a bill for debate that would temporarily extend funding. The government is operating on its third temporary funding extension since the 2018 fiscal year began on Oct. 1.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.64-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.74-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 84 new 52-week highs and 12 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 127 new highs and 25 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.93 billion shares, compared to the 6.3 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

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