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The broad S&P 500 fell from a record closing high Wednesday as traders fretted about financial markets in China and parsed through a slew of corporate earnings reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 54.3 points, or 0.35%, to 15413, the S&P 500 dipped 8.3 points, or 0.47%, to 1746 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 22.5 points, or 0.57%, to 3907.
The broad S&P 500 notched its thirtieth record close of the year Tuesday after investment banks pushed back their view on when the Federal Reserve will begin tapering its massive asset-buying program after a round of lukewarm data on the labor market.
The enthusiasm wore off on Wednesday as traders looked toward China. Short-term lending rates took their biggest jump since July, according to an analysis by Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group.
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The sharp move that could crimp the bounce-back in the world's No. 2 economy comes on the back of news reports suggesting the country's central bank could "impose further property measures to curb prices," according to analysts at Nomura, a Japan-based investment bank.
"We’ll soon see if Chinese officials are taking another run at slowing excessive bank lending," Boockvar said.
Meanwhile, earnings from blue-chip companies were mixed.
Caterpillar (CAT) revealed third-quarter profits of $1.45 a share on sales of $13.42 billion, missing expectations of $1.66 a share on revenues of $14.35 billion. The world’s biggest heavy machinery maker also said it expects to earn $5.50 a share for the full year, widely missing Wall Street’s view of $6.21 a share. Shares dropped nearly 5%.
Boeing (BA) posted adjusted third-quarter earnings of $1.80 a share on revenues of $22.1 billion, topping estimates of $1.55 a share on sales of $21.68 billion. The aerospace giant also upped its full-year adjusted earnings forecast to $6.50 to $6.65 a share, compared with analysts’ expectations of $6.52 a share. Shares climbed 4%.
In other corporate news, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) was nearing a $6 billion settlement with institutional investors over the sale of mortgage-backed securities leading up the financial crisis, according to a report by Reuters.
On the economic front, U.S. import prices climbed 0.2% in September from the month prior, matching expectations. Meanwhile, export prices rose 0.3% in the first climb since February, compared to estimates they would remain unchanged. The report was delayed due to the government shutdown.
U.S. crude oil prices skidded $1.44, or 1.5%, to $96.86 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline tumbled 2.5% to $2.552 a gallon. Gold dropped $8.60, or 0.64%, to $1334 a troy ounce.
The Euro Stoxx 50 sold off by 1% to 2016, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.33% to 6674 and the German DAX slumped 0.4% to 8912.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 sold off by 2% to 14426 and the Chinese Hang Seng dropped 1.4% to 23000.