By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks on Thursday mostly added to losses from the prior day that were sparked by a less-dovish-than-expected Federal Reserve statement.
Some market strategists see equities taking a break after a strong 2013 that's left the S&P 500 around record levels and up nearly 24%.
The S&P 500 (SPX) was last down less than 1 point to 1,763. Consumer discretionary and information technology fared best among S&P 500 sectors, while utilities and financials performed worst.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average(DJI) fell 11 points, or 0.1%, to 15,607. The blue-chip index was bolstered somewhat by a 1% rise by Dow component Exxon Mobil Corp.(XOM) after its earnings report early Thursday, but hurt by a post-earnings slide of 3% by Visa Inc.(V), one of its new components.
The Nasdaq Composite(RIXF) bucked the mostly negative trend, last trading up by 2 points, or 0.1%, at 3,933.
"We just think the market is ready for a pause," said Jim Russell, senior equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management, which has $113 billion in assets under management. He said the stock market is "a little bit tired here. It has had quite a run."
Stocks could trade sideways to down modestly for several sessions or a few weeks, Russell said. Investors may be starting to think about another round of negotiations in Washington, he said. A House-Senate budget conference committee faces a mid-December deadline, and a stopgap budget expires in mid-January.
For the month of October, the S&P 500 is on pace for a gain of 4.8%; the Dow, a gain of 3.2%; and the Nasdaq, a rise of 4.3%. Russell said Thursday's action was featuring the usual end-of-month window dressing, but there also was a tax component to the distortion due to funds whose fiscal year ends in October.
In economic news on Thursday, the Chicago purchasing managers index rose to 65.9% in October, easily topping forecasts for 54.5%. Meanwhile, a report on jobless claims roughly matched expectations. All three stock indexes turned positive early Thursday after the much better-than-expected reading on Chicago-area business conditions, but then pulled back from those session highs.
On Wednesday, equities closed down from record levels after the much-anticipated Fed statement. As expected, the central bank made no changes to interest rates or its asset-purchases program, but the accompanying statement left some Fed observers worried a tapering to the stimulus measures could come sooner than expected. Consensus expectations for the taper had been March.
"The market was caught slightly off guard with that kind of read on the Fed announcement yesterday," U.S. Bank's Russell told MarketWatch on Thursday.
On the earnings front, Facebook Inc. (FB) was showing volatile action in the wake of the social-media company's quarterly report late Wednesday. It was last up 3%.
After the closing bell on Thursday, American International Group Inc. (AIG) is among the companies slated to post its quarterly results. AIG, bailed out by the government in 2008, is projected to post third-quarter earnings of 96 cents a share on $8.9 billion in revenue. AIG dipped 0.2%.
While most companies have been beating forecasts with their third-quarter earnings, Russell said firms are topping low expectations. "We would give the third-quarter release season just a C+," the U.S. Bank strategist said.
In other financial markets, Asian stocks were mostly lower, but European markets were mostly higher, while the dollar(DXY) rose. Gold and silver dropped, and oil prices also dipped.
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 31, 2013 12:33 ET (16:33 GMT)Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
|UPDATE: Stocks extend post-Fed fall; 'ready for pause' ()|
|MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Extend Losses; TripAdvisor Falls 1.5% (2014/4/7)|
|MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Drop On Fed Worries, But Gain For October ()|
|MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Slide After Fed Sticks To Taper Plan (2013/11/20)|
|MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Extend Losses After Detroit Ruling (2013/12/3)|
|MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Roughl Flat After Fed, 'ready For A Pause' ()|
|MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Roughly Flat After Fed; 'ready For A Pause' (2013/10/31)|
|MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Edge Down, Extending Post-Fed Retreat (2013/10/31)|
|MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Fall From Record After Fed Stokes Taper Talk ()|
|MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Fall Further After Fed Stokes Taper Talk (2013/10/30)|
|Start Premium Trial||Register For Free|
|P||F||Fund Financial Data (13,000+ funds)|
|P||F||Stock Financial Data (7,000+ stocks)|
|P||F||Stock and Fund Screeners (basic)|
|P||F||Investing Articles and Market Commentary|
|P||F||Articles Archive (>30 days)|
|P||F||Discuss (dozens of stock, fund, bond, and general bulletin boards)|
|P||F||Portfolio Manager (basic)|
|P||F||Morningstar Investment Classroom|
|P||F||Access Your Portfolio Anytime, Anywhere via Your Mobile Device|
|P||Morningstar Fund Analyst Reports (full research on 1,700 funds, ETFs, and CEFs)|
|P||Morningstar Stock Analyst Reports (full research on more than 1,100 stocks)|
|P||Portfolio Manager (advanced with 10 X-Ray analyses, including recommendations)|
|P||Portfolio Monitor (monthly and on-demand personalized portfolio statements)|
|P||Morningstar Proprietary Stock Information (stock star ratings, buy/sell prices, economic moat ratings, and more)|
|P||Morningstar 5-Star Stock and Fund Favorites & Red Flags eNewsletters|
|P||Premium Stock and Fund Screeners (advanced with nearly infinite ways to find the best securities for you)|
|P||Discounts on Morningstar newsletters, books, seminars, and more|
Access these features and more when you sign up for Free Membership.
Join Morningstar today. It's Free.
Access these features and more when you sign up for Premium Membership.
Start your free 14-day trial today online
Your subscription may be tax deductible. Please contact your tax advisor.