Dow streak of records ends as US stocks fall

VIDEO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Dow's streak of seven straight records ended on Thursday (Sept 21) with analysts citing profit taking and anxiety over the Federal Reserve's moves to tighten monetary policy.

Investors were in a more skittish mood after pushing both the Dow and S&P 500 to fresh records on Wednesday, following the Fed's announcement of plans to unwind a massive stimulus package, while also keeping alive a possible December interest rate hike.

After weeks of nearly steady upward movement, the market is "taking profits until the next news cycle with third-quarter earnings," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.

Phil Davis of PSW Investments was more downbeat, predicting a "pretty big sell-off over the course of the next couple of months" due to the short-term economic hit from two hurricanes and the impact of Fed tightening.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.2 per cent at 22,359.23.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.3 per cent to close at 2,500.60, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 0.5 per cent to 6,422.69.

Consumer stocks were especially weak, with Dow member Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Kimberly Clark all losing more than 1.5 per cent.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group dropped 2.4 per cent as it trimmed its earnings forecast due to the default of a resins supplier that forced it to procure additional supplies. The soda giant also said its operations were affected by hurricanes in the US and the earthquake in Mexico, but that it was unable to quantify the impact of those events.

Anadarko Petroleum jumped 8.2 per cent after announcing a US$2.5 billion (S$3.3 billion) share repurchase programme.