Wall Street pulled lower by energy stocks, tax plan doubts




 

By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks slipped on Tuesday as a drop in oil prices hit energy stocks, with uncertainty over Republican tax plans also weighing on the sentiment.

Oil prices eased for a third day after rising U.S. output overshadowed some of the optimism that OPEC-led production cuts would tighten the balance between crude supply and demand.

The S&P energy index fell 0.76 percent as Range Resources and Baker Hughes led losses in the sector.

With the quarterly earnings season winding down, the market has taken a breather after its rally to record highs last week.

Investors are waiting for any signs of compromise on U.S. tax policy after Senate Republicans unveiled a plan last week that would cut corporate taxes a year later than a rival House of Representatives' bill.

"You're at the end of the earnings season, economic data is all distorted because of the hurricanes, I don't think there is going to be any clear picture until we get a firm yes or no for the tax bill," Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

At 9:39 a.m. ET (1339 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 60.85 points, or 0.26 percent, at 23,378.85, the S&P 500 was down 9.31 points, or 0.36 percent, at 2,575.53 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 26.93 points, or 0.4 percent, at 6,730.66.

Shares in Home Depot held steady, while those in off-price retailer TJX dipped after quarterly reports that bore the impact of a violent U.S. hurricane season.

Buffalo Wild Wings surged 25 percent after a report that the restaurant chain had received a takeover bid at about $2.3 billion from private equity Roark Capital Group.

Adavnce Auto Parts soared 19 percent after the auto parts retailer affirmed full-year profit forecast and beat quarterly profit estimates.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,791 to 805. On the Nasdaq, 1,518 issues fell and 821 advanced.


(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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