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US STOCKS-Wall St stalls as industrials lag
October 23, 2017 / 6:18 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Wall St stalls as industrials lag

* GE falls after multiple brokerage downgrades

* Hasbro tumbles after disappointing holiday season forecast

* Arconic down after profit miss

* Dow up 0.01 pct, S&P 500 down 0.12 pct, Nasdaq down 0.22 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Oct 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed, with the S&P 500 retreating slightly from a record on Monday, as a drop in General Electric weighed on industrial shares.

General Electric, down 6.6 percent, was on track to post biggest one-day percentage decline in more than six years, after a host of brokerages cut their price targets on the stock, citing higher chances of a dividend cut at the industrial conglomerate.

Even with the drop in GE, major indexes held near their all-time highs after a strong start to third-quarter earnings and on hopes President Donald Trump’s tax plans move forward after the Senate’s approval of a budget resolution on Friday.

Last week, the Dow and S&P managed to close at a record high all five days.

Investors are also waiting for news on the next Federal Reserve chief. Trump told reporters on Monday he is “very, very close” to making his decision on who should chair the Fed.

“You have tax reform coming in, you have a possible change in interest rates coming in, so people are taking a little bit of a pause after record days every day last week,” said Anthony Conroy, President of Abel Noser in New York.

“Everybody is looking at earnings - what are they going to do, can they continue?”

Of the 97 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 73.2 percent have topped expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data, versus the 72-percent average for the past four quarters.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.17 points, or 0.01 percent, to 23,329.8, the S&P 500 lost 3.05 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,572.16 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 14.70 points, or 0.22 percent, to 6,614.35.

Industrials, were off 0.6 percent as the biggest drag to the S&P of the 11 major sectors. Aside from GE, the group was also dragged lower by a 7.9 tumble in Arconic after the specialty metals maker missed profit estimates and announced a new chief executive.

The energy index stumbled 0.38 percent, driven by losses in Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Halliburton, which reported results on Monday.

Hasbro plunged 8.6 percent after the toymaker’s forecast for the holiday season fell below estimates as Toys‘R‘Us bankruptcy began to hurt its operations. Shares of peer Mattel fell 3.4 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.58-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.69-to-1 ratio favored decliners. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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