Stocks slipped on Thursday as a strong start to the earnings season was countered by mixed economic data, sparking caution after a robust three-day run-up.
Investors also fretted over a possible bankruptcy filing at CIT Group Inc
On the earnings front, JPMorgan Chase & Co
Adding to economic concerns, data showed factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region shrank for the 10th consecutive month in July, marking a worse-than-expected decline that raised questions about the speed of the economic recovery.
In other economic news, government data showed the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week to their lowest level since January, but the seasonally adjusted data was again distorted by an unusual pattern of automotive industry layoffs that amplified the drop.
There's a lot of conflicting data here, and I think that the market is reflecting that, said Kim Caughey, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
She said uncertainty about CIT's future and its implications for the businesses it serves is a heavy weight on market sentiment.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slipped 6.49 points, or 0.08 percent, to 8,609.72. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 3.24 points, or 0.35 percent, to 929.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> edged down 0.65 of a point, or 0.04 percent, to 1,862.25.
(Editing by Jan Paschal)