U.S. Stocks Open Lower, Threaten To Halt Record Ascent

By Joseph Adinolfi Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks opened marginally lower on Wednesday as the three main benchmarks struggled to continue their run of records amid a pullback in oil prices. The S&P 500 index slipped three points, or 0.1%, to 2,362.34. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 27 points, or 0.1%, to 20,712. The Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 10 points, or 0.2%, to 5,856. U.S.-traded crude-oil futures slipped 1.5% to $53.54 a barrel in recent trade, weighing on energy stocks. Shares of Toll Brothers Inc. jumped after the company posted a fall in profit and revenue. First Solar Inc. shares fell, even though the company posted adjusted earnings and sales that beat expectations. Shares of TJX Cos. rose after the off-price retailer's fourth-quarter earnings and sales beat expectations. Investors are now looking ahead to the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent policy meeting, which they will scrutinize for clues about the central bank's plans for raising interest rates and unwinding its balance sheet.

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