Defeat for 'skinny' repeal of 'Obamacare' in Senate casts doubt on Trump plans
U.S. stocks traded slightly lower on Friday, weighed down by slumping Amazon.com shares following disappointing earnings while the main indexes were on track to finish the week with modest losses.
The S&P 500 index was off by 8 points, or 0.4%, to 2,466, with nine of its 11 main sectors trading in negative territory.
Less-than-spectacular corporate results from Amazon.com Inc.(AMZN), which reported a 77% plunge in second-quarter earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-earnings-fall-77-shares-drop-2017-07-27), added to a pause in the market's gains as Wall Street reassessed valuations of Wall Street's highest fliers, which have helped equity benchmarks notch repeated records. Amazon shares dropped 3.6%.
The consumer staples sector, down 1.3%, led the losses. Consumer discretionary and telecoms shares were also down.
Some analysts suggested that this week's weakness was due to seasonal positioning.
"It is not surprising for market participants to take profits after a big rally, especially going into August, which is historically a difficult month," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.
Despite this week's modest losses, the S&P 500 is up 1.8% since the start of the month and 10% year to date.
The failure of a Republican-led attempt to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act in the wee hours of Friday morning (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/senate-votes-against-skinny-bill-to-repeal-obamacare-2017-07-28) -- viewed as a proxy for President Donald Trump's ability to deliver on previously pledged pro-growth legislations -- may also have dampened investor sentiment, some analysts said.
"The reality is that the clock is ticking for this administration to deliver something to their voters," Krosby said. "Republicans also need to score victories before they hit the campaign trail, but so far, there is no sign of any tax relief that Trump voters have been expecting."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average , which briefly touched an all-time high shortly after the opening bell, was flat at 21,793. Shares of Dow component Exxon Mobil Corp., (XOM) were down 2.5% after reporting disappointing second-quarter results. But Chevron Corp(CVX) was up 2.4% after quarterly results.
The blue-chip index is set to book modest gains over the week.
The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 20 points, or 0.3%, to 6,362.
Read:Amazon's free-spending ways hit earnings, but don't expect a shift to thrift (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazons-free-spending-ways-hit-earnings-but-dont-expect-a-shift-to-thrift-2017-07-27)
Some analysts suggested that any pullback in highflying "FAANG" stocks -- Facebook Inc., Amazon.com, Apple Inc., Netflix Inc. and Google Inc. -- which had been trading at high valuations, may impact broader markets.
"If they lose momentum, something that is quite possible at any moment in time, which sectors are going to take over? In a market at record highs with [price-to-earnings] ratios the highest in a decade, that is a tough question to answer," said James M. Meyer, chief investment officer at TowerBridge Advisors.
Trump setback: Investors have been watching the U.S. political landscape closely for clues to whether President Trump will be able to push through his tax cuts and stimulus packages, which are seen as potentially giving a boost to the U.S. economy. Analysts said the latest failure doesn't bode well for those economic ambitions.
Economic docket: On the data front, a second-quarter reading on gross domestic product rose 2.6%, below the 2.8% expected by economists polled by MarketWatch. First-quarter GDP growth was revised to 1.2% from 1.4%.
The cost of employing the average U.S. worker rose 0.5% in the second quarter but showed little acceleration despite the tightest labor market in years.
The final reading of the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey for July was lifted to 93.4 from a preliminary 93.1. That's a decline, however, from June's level of 95.1.
Stocks to watch: Shares of Starbucks Corp.(SBUX) fell nearly 7%. The company posted earnings above expectations and rising global sales (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/starbucks-adj-earnings-above-expectations-teavana-stores-to-close-2017-07-27). (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/starbucks-adj-earnings-above-expectations-teavana-stores-to-close-2017-07-27) The coffee giant said it would close all of its Teavana retail stores over the coming year.
Expedia Inc. shares (EXPE) were up 1.2% after a revenue beat (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/expedia-shares-climb-after-second-quarter-revenue-beat-2017-07-27). Merck & Co. Inc.(MRK) shares rose after the drug company reported quarterly results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/merck-profit-and-sales-rise-beat-expectations-amid-big-jump-in-keytruda-sales-2017-07-28).
Other markets: European stocks dropped to three-month lows (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-sell-off-as-ubs-fall-tech-worries-weigh-2017-07-28) as Swiss bank UBS Group AG fell on results. and Asian stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-stocks-tumble-on-heels-of-us-tech-selloff-2017-07-28) mostly fell Friday on the heels of that slump for U.S. tech stocks.
The dollar was back under pressure after the Senate health care vote and weaker-than-expected GDP numbers, with the ICE Dollar Index down 0.4% to 93.54.
Gold prices rebounded, while oil prices were slightly higher.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 28, 2017 11:18 ET (15:18 GMT)