MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow, S&P Log Weekly Loss As Investors Weigh Earnings, Tax Plan

11/17/17 04:38 PM EST

By Sue Chang and Anora M. Gaudiano, MarketWatch

Tesla gains after electric big rig unveiled

U.S. stocks finished lower on Friday, with the S&P 500 and the Dow logging a second straight week of losses as investors tracked the progress of the Republican tax cut plan wending its way through the legislative grind.

How did the main benchmarks perform?

The S&P 500 fell 6.79 points, or 0.3%, to 2,578.85 for a weekly decline of 0.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 100.12 points, or 0.4%, to 23,358.24. For the week, the blue-chip index dropped 0.3%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 10.50 points, or 0.2%, to 6,782.79. However, it outperformed the S&P 500 and the Dow on a weekly basis, adding 0.5%.

The small-cap Russell 2000 index gained 5.94 points, or 0.4%, to 1,492.82.

What drove the markets?

The market's focus remains on Washington and the Senate after the House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to overhaul the tax code (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/house-passes-tax-overhaul-as-spotlight-turns-to-senate-2017-11-16) on Thursday.

See:Here are the winners and losers of the tax plan the House just passed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/here-are-the-winners-and-losers-of-the-tax-plan-by-income-bracket-2017-11-03)

The Republican-backed legislation has several steps to go, which analysts say could make the final tax deal very different from what it currently looks like.

The latest developments in the Russia probe were also seen as a factor in the market action.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team issued a subpoena (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mueller-subpoenaed-trump-campaign-documents-in-october-2017-11-16) to more than a dozen officials from Donald Trump's campaign in mid-October, asking them to hand over Russia-related documents, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Mueller is overseeing an investigation into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. Both Moscow and Trump have denied any interference.

What are strategists saying?

"With the passage of the House's tax reform bill, the Republicans have moved significantly closer to one of their key political goals. Of course, the Senate bill still needs to pass that chamber, and then the reconciled bill must pass both chambers," Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network, said in a note.

"But the fact that the fractious Republican factions in the House have come together is a signal that passage is a real possibility. For the first time, in my opinion, the odds are now better than even," he said.

Which stocks are in focus?

Shares of Tesla Inc.(TSLA) rose 0.8% after the electric-vehicle company Thursday night launched a semiautonomous electric big rig (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-unveils-sleek-electric-big-rig-with-500-mile-range-2017-11-17), which chief executive Elon Musk promised will deliver huge cost efficiencies. Tesla also added a surprise to the event on Thursday, unveiling a new version of the Roadster (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musks-fast-route-to-more-cash-a-new-tesla-roadster-2017-11-17).

Trucking company J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.(JBHT) said Friday it has made reservations to buy "multiple" Tesla semi trucks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/teslas-stock-gets-a-premarket-boost-after-jb-hunt-reseves-multiple-new-semi-trucks-2017-11-17). J.B. Hunt shares were off 1.5%.

21st Century Fox Inc.(FOX) rose 6.2% after reports Comcast Corp.(CMCSA) and Verizon Communications Inc.(VZ) are exploring bids to buy a big chunk of (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/comcast-seeks-to-buy-significant-part-of-fox-verizon-interested-too-2017-11-16) the Rupert Murdoch-built media empire. Comcast shares fell 2.5%, while Verizon was up 1.5%.

Hibbett Sports Inc.(HIBB) soared 15% as sports retailer blew past estimates for its fiscal third quarter and raised guidance for the full year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hibbett-sports-shares-jump-7-premarket-after-earnings-blow-past-estimates-2017-11-17).

Foot Locker Inc.(FL) jumped 28% after the athletic footwear retailer reported fiscal third-quarter profit and sales that fell less than expected (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/foot-lockers-stock-soars-after-profit-revenue-and-same-store-sales-beat-expectations-2017-11-17).

Electronic Arts Inc. shares(EA) fell 2.5% after the company late Thursday said suspended micropayments (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ea-suspends-in-game-payments-for-new-star-wars-battlefront-ii-video-game-2017-11-16) on its highly anticipated new videogame "Star Wars: Battlefront II."

SailPoint Technologies Holdings Inc.(SAIL) rallied 8.3% on its debut trading. The company late Thursday priced its initial public offering at $12 a share.

What economic data were in focus?

October housing starts surged (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/housing-starts-booms-137-in-october-2017-11-17), rising 13.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.29 million. September estimate was revised to 1.135 million.

How did other markets doing?

Asian stocks closed mixed, while Europe markets finished mostly lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-stumble-on-company-news-broker-downgrades-2017-11-17).

Oil prices rallied (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-rally-15-rebounding-from-2-week-low-2017-11-17), with crude up more than 2% as it rebounded from a two-week settlement low reached on Thursday.

Gold futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-clings-to-weekly-gain-as-dollar-pulls-back-2017-11-17) settled higher, getting a boost from the weaker dollar.

The ICE Dollar Index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-slips-on-concerns-russia-probe-is-moving-closer-to-trump-2017-11-17) dropped 0.3% and the yield on the 10-year Treasury (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/treasury-yields-slightly-higher-ahead-of-housing-starts-data-2017-11-17) note fell 2 basis points to 2.34%.

Bitcoin (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-nears-8000-as-fomo-traders-pile-in-after-crash-2017-11-17) jumped to a fresh all-time high early Friday to touch $7,998.40, according to CoinDesk. The cryptocurrency has since pared back to trade around $7,701.60.

--Sara Sjolin contributed to this report.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 17, 2017 16:38 ET (21:38 GMT)

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