NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks ended slightly lower on Monday (Oct 14) ahead of a wave of key earnings reports, and as markets weighed last week's partial trade agreement between the United States and China.
This week's earnings schedule includes a trove of large banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, as well as reports from Netflix, IBM and Coca-Cola.
Enthusiasm for last week's trade announcement, which boosted stocks on Friday, has ebbed as focused shifted to the fact the deal did not remove any existing tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of trade between the countries. And more tariffs could be imposed later this year if talks stumble again.
"Stocks won't fall that much because the trade situation has improved between China and the United States," said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services.
"At the same, there is a ceiling on how high the market will go because there is s still a chance of new tariffs."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 26,787.36, down 29.23 points (0.11 per cent).
The broad-based S&P 500 shed 4.12 points (0.14 per cent) to close at 2,966.15, as did the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index, which finished at 8,048.65.
Major indices gained more than one per cent on Friday ahead of an announcement of a "phase one" trade agreement between the US and China, and Washington's announcement that it would hold off on a tariff increase scheduled to take effect on Tuesday.
But sentiment about the agreement shifted over the weekend following more subdued commentary in the Chinese press and as analysts focused on the need for additional talks to keep the situation from deteriorating.
Among individual companies, Boeing shed 0.5 per cent after announcing late Friday that Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg would lose his title as chairman but remain on the board of directors.
Some analysts said the move could be a prelude to Muilenburg's eventual departure as CEO as the crisis over the 737 MAX drags on. The plane has been grounded since March following two deadly crashes.