US stock indexes are closing slightly lower as retailers and media companies decline. United States stocks fell this morning, dragged down by media companies, while results from JPMorgan and Citigroup failed to fuel the optimism that has driven indexes to record highs.
Shares in both banks were down slightly in early trade.
"After a long stretch of consecutive highs in the market, with earnings, even if they are slightly disappointing, or an even an aspect of earnings like bond trading at JPM, is more an excuse to selloff", said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman in NY.
With the S&P 500 up about 14 percent so far in 2017, investors are hoping earnings growth can help justify valuations.
AT&T tumbled 3.22 per cent after the company said its third-quarter results took a hit from the string of hurricanes. "The risk is similar to the second quarter in that stocks are being priced for perfection", said Bryan Reilly, senior investment analyst at CIBC Atlantic Trust.
That sparked fresh jitters in a sector that was hit a day earlier by President Donald Trump's suggestion to challenge TV network licenses over "fake news".
Cable company Charter fell 1.6 percent and entertainment conglomerate Viacom lost 4.6 percent on reports that Viacom channels may go off the air in the NY area because of a contract dispute.
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Clemons said earnings will probably heighten volatility, with lack of any other major developments to drive the market.
The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.2 percent to 2,549.84, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.3 percent to 6,586.93.
The biggest drag, however, was from the consumer discretionary sector, which fell 0.57 per cent, weighed down by media stocks.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.33 percent.
General Motors fell 1.5 per cent. The Wall Street Journal reported GM planned to cut production at a Detroit plant and lay off about 1,500 workers.
Women's clothing retailer J. Jill lost half its value Thursday after the company slashed its forecast for the third quarter.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.11-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.38-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
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