MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Market Retreats As Financials, Consumer-discretionary Shares Slump

By Barbara Kollmeyer and Sara Sjolin, MarketWatchFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Nasdaq tips higher, sets new intraday all-time peak

U.S. stock benchmarks on Monday traded mostly lower at the open, pulled back in to negative territory by a slump in bank and consumer-discretionary shares, but technology shares extended their gains deeper into record territory. Investors also are awaiting a week that will see an updated policy statement from the Federal Reserve and a key employment report on Friday.

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What are stock-index futures doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 46 points or 0.2%, to 23,387, weighed by components Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK), and 3M Co. (MMM). Meanwhile, the S&P 500 fell 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,576.

The Nasdaq Composite Index briefly set a fresh intraday record and was most recently trading up 0.2% at 6,711.35.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite, closed at records on Friday (, fueled tech stocks after Inc.(AMZN), and Microsoft Corp.(MSFT) results, among others. The Dow added 33.33 points, or 0.1%, at 23,434.19.

What could drive the markets?

Investors will also be awaiting President Donald Trump's decision on who will lead the Fed after Chairwoman Janet Yellen's term expires in February. A report Friday said Trump is leaning toward choosing Fed Gov. Jerome Powell (

Meanwhile, the Federal meets Tuesday and Wednesday. . No changes to monetary policy are expected, but the statement at the conclusion of the meeting will be closely watched for clues on whether policy makers intend to go ahead with a widely expected December increase in interest rates. Bank of Japan and Bank of England also will have monetary policy meetings.

Read: Manafort told to surrender to federal authorities: report (

Beyond central banks, any further developments on U.S. tax reforms will hold investor attention. Republicans expect to unveil a much-awaited bill to overhaul the tax code Wednesday. The National Association of Home Builders is set to offer opposition (

What are the data?

Consumer spending leapt 1% in September, the biggest gain since early mid-2009, just as the current economic recovery got under way. Personal income rose 0.4%, but the savings rate fell to 3.1%, the lowest level since December 2007.

The personal-consumption-expenditure index, or PCE, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge, increased 0.4% in September, while the closely followed "core" rate, that strips out food and energy, rose 0.1%.

Read:Apple engineer reportedly fired over daughter's viral video of iPhone X (

Also read: Why stock-market bulls should be wary of rising tide of earnings shenanigans (

What are analysts saying?

"Financial markets have begun a key week of economic data and central bank decisions with a cautious tone today. In the coming days there will be some key risk events with a series of major central banks announcing monetary policy, including the Fed, the Bank of Japan and a potential historic rate hike from the Bank of England," said Richard Perry, market analyst at Hantec Markets, in a note.

Check out:Fed statement may have treats for the hawks and the doves (

Opinion:Trump-Ryan tax plan will encourage more corporate offshore tax avoidance (

Which stocks are in focus?

Shares of CalAtlantic Group Inc.(CAA) soared 23% after the home builder said it plans to merge with peer Lennar Corp ( in a deal worth about $9.3 billion, including $3.6 billion in assumed net debt. Lennar shares slipped 2.3%.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.(WMT) fell 0.7%. The head of the company's U.K. chain Asda, Sean Clarke (, will leave his post on Dec. 31 and will be followed by Roger Burnley.

Dynegy Inc.(DYN) jumped 14% after the energy company said it is merging with Vista Energy in a deal that would value the combined entities at more than $10 billion.

Akzo Nobel NV(AKZOY) (AKZOY) and U.S. rival Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. (AXTA) said they are in talks to merge ( ( Akzo Nobel shares rose 0.7% in Amsterdam, while Axalta shares rose 1.9%.

Shares of Huntsman Corp.(HUN) rose 0.3%. Activist U.S. investors, who helped scuttle a proposed merger between Huntsman and Swiss chemicals company Clariant (CLN.EB), said they would try to seek a seat on Clariant's board of directors and push for more changes (

U.S.-listed shares of HSBC Holdings PLC(HSBA.LN) fell 1.2% even after the bank said it swung to a third-quarter net profit of $3.24 billion (

What are other markets doing?

The ICE Dollar Index was down 0.2% to 94.676, with slight losses against the euro .

And:Is the euro rally toast after ECB unveils dovish bond-buying cutback? (

Oil prices were rising (, up 39 cents, or less than 0.8%, to $54.33 a barrel, while gold ( was modestly higher, up 0.2% at $1,274.10 an ounce.

Stocks in Europe opened flat, but Spanish stocks rallied 1.5%. Spain's central government is taking control of Catalonia after removing the region's president Carles Puigdemont and calling for new elections on Dec. 21 ( ( Hundreds of thousands of pro-unity demonstrators rallied in Catalonia on Sunday (

Stocks in Asia finishedmostly fell (, with Chines stocks dented in part by a bond selloff.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 30, 2017 09:52 ET (13:52 GMT)