By Amy Caren Daniel
April 15 () - U.S. stocks slipped on Monday, weighed by losses in financial stocks as earnings from Wall Street's big banks Goldman Sachs and Citigroup failed to impress.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc fell 2.6%, while Citigroup Inc declined 1%. Both banks beat quarterly profit estimates, but their revenue missed.
"People are sort of looking for direction," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
"We've got a lot of earnings reports coming in, including the banks, and they are important because they ought to tell us something about the state of the economy."
Monday's results follow JPMorgan Chase's upbeat earnings on Friday that eased fears of first-quarter earnings season slamming the brakes on Wall Street's big rally back from last year's slump.
The benchmark S&P 500 index is now within a percent of its September record closing high.
In a bright spot, the healthcare sector rose 0.2%, bouncing back from a rough week, led by a more than 1% gain in UnitedHealth Group Inc , CVS Health Corp and Anthem Inc .
On the trade front, reported that U.S. negotiators have tempered demands that China curb industrial subsidies as a condition for a deal, while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he hoped the talks were approaching a final lap.
At 10:01 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 38.21 points, or 0.14%, at 26,374.09. The S&P 500 was down 3.06 points, or 0.11%, at 2,904.35 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 9.48 points, or 0.12%, at 7,974.68.
Of the 29 S&P 500 companies reporting results so far, 79.3% have surpassed first-quarter earnings estimate, above the average of past four quarters, according to Refinitiv data.
Analysts expect S&P 500 companies to show a 2.3% year-on-year decline in earnings, their first annual contraction since 2016.
Among other stocks, Waste Management Inc rose 2.2% after the company said it would buy smaller rival Advanced Disposal Services Inc for about $3 billion.
Boeing Co fell 0.7% after U.S. President Donald Trump urged the planemaker in a tweet to fix and "rebrand" its troubled jetliner. Brand consultancy firm Brand Finance said negative publicity over the grounding of its 737 MAX jet is set to wipe $12 billion off the company's brand value.
Nike Inc rose 0.7% after long-time brand ambassador Tiger Woods won the Masters title, ending an 11-year major title drought.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.08-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.22-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 48 new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 56 new highs and 19 new lows.
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