Dow sheds nearly 140 points

Stocks ended lower Wednesday as the current bull market showed signs of slowing down.

The Dow lost 138 points to close at its lowest level in three weeks.

The S&P 500 shed 0.55 percent, and the Nasdaq fell 0.47 percent.

Oil prices declined after the International Energy Agency slashed its outlook for oil demand growth by 100,000 barrels per day for 2017 and 2018.

The S&P 500 was also pressured by declines in financials and consumer discretionary stocks.

Consumer discretionary stocks fell nearly 1 percent, led lower by Target. The retailer’s stock dropped nearly 10 percent as its holiday forecast disappointed investors. Financials, meanwhile, fell 0.7 percent as Treasury yields declined.

U.S. stock index futures fell sharply before the bell, with Dow futures sliding more than 100 points. Futures followed Asian and European stocks lower, which were pressured by the decline in oil prices.

“That [IEA] report is pressuring the market here,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. “We’re also being held hostage by what’s going on with tax reform.”

On Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that the House will not repeal the Obamacare individual mandate before the Senate does.

A revised version of the Senate’s tax plan includes a measure that effectively repeals a law requiring most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty.

U.S. equities have eased from record highs lately as investors gauge the likelihood of a tax-reform plan becoming law before year-end.

“When you look at financial conditions, they are still pretty good,” said Prudential’s Krosby. “However, the market has been looking for a reason to pull back by year-end.” “So, you have that tug of war in the market.”

In economic news, retail sales rose 0.2 percent last month. Economists polled by Reuters expected them to remain unchanged. Meanwhile, the consumer price index edged up 0.1 percent in October, in line with expectations.

Treasury yields slipped after the data were released. The 10-year yield fell to 2.32 percent, while the short-term two-year yield traded near 1.68 percent.

Alexandra Gibbs and Fred Imbert

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