U.S. Stocks Pull Back as Financials Decline

By Akane Otani and Jon SindreuFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

U.S. stocks edged lower Tuesday, pressured by declines in banks and oil firms.

Major indexes traded in a tight range throughout the day, echoing Friday's quiet session ahead of the long weekend.

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U.S. stocks overall have climbed with few large swings so far this year, bolstered by strength in corporate earnings and the U.S. economy. Many investors say they are now trying to gauge how long favorable economic data and relatively low market volatility can last, especially as expectations dwindle for deregulation and tax cuts from the Trump administration.

"At some point, stocks will need that catalyst from fiscal stimulus and deregulation," said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 39 points, or 0.2%, to 21042. The S&P 500 slipped 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite edged down 0.1%.

Amazon.com climbed, breaching $1,000 a share for the first time before paring gains. The firm's shares, which are categorized as part of the S&P 500 consumer-discretionary sector but are often compared with technology stocks, have climbed 33% in 2017.

Energy was one of the worst-performing sectors in the S&P 500 on Tuesday, falling 1.2%. U.S. crude for July delivery lost 0.3% to settle at $49.66 a barrel.

Pipeline operator Kinder Morgan fell 4.3%, Chesapeake Energy shed 4% and Devon Energy declined 3.7%.

Bank stocks retreated, with the KBW Nasdaq Bank index of leading U.S. commercial lenders losing 1%.

Goldman Sachs Group, J.P. Morgan Chase and Exxon Mobil were among the biggest decliners in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Government bonds strengthened, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note falling to 2.217% from 2.248% Friday. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

Moving forward, some money managers say they are concerned that a few sectors of the U.S. economy -- such as the auto industry -- are flashing warning signs after years of solid performance.

"Clearly we are late in the economic cycle," said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial. Still, Mr. Detrick said, it appears "we've got another year or two of good potential economic growth" left in the U.S.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.2%, weighed by declines in the shares of banks. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was little changed. South Korea's Kospi Composite Index fell 0.4% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2%.

Write to Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com and Jon Sindreu at jon.sindreu@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 30, 2017 16:03 ET (20:03 GMT)