U.S. Stocks Slide as Dow Hovers Near 20,000, Health Shares Drop

U.S. stocks slid with the Dow Jones Industrial Average within 60 points of reaching 20,000, following a rally that has pushed the country’s equities into the top four best-performing developed markets this year.

The S&P 500 Index fell 0.2 percent to 2,265 at 4 p.m. in New York after advancing in the previous two sessions. The Dow lost 15 points to 19,944 Wednesday, and the Russell 2000 Index of small-cap stocks declined less than 0.5 percent.

Eight of 11 sectors in the S&P 500 fell as gains in energy and raw materials failed to offset losses in real estate and health-care shares; financial shares slipped 0.2%

  • REITs slid 1.3% as the 10-year Treasury lost less than 2 basis points; the group is little changed since the election
  • The Dow is heading toward the 20,000 level, about a month after it reached the previous round-number milestone.
    • It took the benchmark a little more than two weeks to reach the 19,000 level from 18,000, the fastest ever
  • The VIX dropped for a fifth session on Wednesday, the longest streak of declines since October; down almost 50 percent since a Nov. 4 peak and is heading for its lowest level since July 2014
  • Strategists on average expect the S&P 500 to end 2017 at 2,356, according to the mean of 15 estimates compiled by Bloomberg, implying a 3.8% gain from Tuesday’s close
  • EARNINGS:
    • After market Wednesday: CalAmp Corp. (CAMP), Micron Technology Inc (MU), AAR Corp. (AIR), Herman Miller Inc. (MLHR), Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY), Red Hat Inc (RHT)
    • Before market Thursday: Cal-Maine Foods Inc (CALM), Rite Aid Corp (RAD), Conagra Brands Inc (CAG)

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