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Dow falls 100 points, Wal-Mart and Cisco shares slide after earnings

CNBC logo CNBC 8/17/2017 Fred Imbert

 © Andrew Burton/Getty Images   U.S. equities traded lower on Thursday as retailers concluded their earnings season.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell about 100 points, with Wal-Mart contributing the most losses and Cisco Systems. The index was also on track to snap a four-day winning streak.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.35 percent, with information technology leading decliners. The Nasdaq composite lagged, falling 0.5 percent.

Shares of Wal-Mart fell more than 2.3 percent in early trade despite the company posting better-than-expected quarterly results.

Chuck Grom, an analyst at Gordon Haskett, told CNBC's "Squad on the Street" earlier on Thursday that "this isn't a blow-away report ... it's a solid report," adding "I think this number needed to be a little bit better today to drive the stock higher."

L Brands also reported results that topped expectations, but the company lowered its 2017 earnings-per-share guidance, sending the stock down more than 7 percent.

Overall, calendar second-quarter earnings have been a mixed bag for retailers. Nordstrom posted better-than-expected earnings and sales, sending their stock higher. Meanwhile, earnings and sales for Macy's topped expectations, but investors sent the stock lower after the results came out.

"The negative sentiment is spilling across the retail sector," said Kim Forrest, senior equity strategist at Fort Pitt Capital. "It makes people wonder about the health of the U.S. consumer."

Cisco Systems shares, meanwhile, fell despite posting in-line results and better-than-expected sales.

Wall Street also contended with the fallout from President Donald Trump dissolving two advisory forums comprised of top U.S. CEOs. The disbanding came as backlash from against Trump grew following remarks he has made following the violent protests in Charlottesville.

Equity gains were kept in check amid the fallout, with the major indexes closing marginally higher.

"We've had a lot of things happen recently, so if people want to sell, they have reasons to do it," said Anthony Conroy, president at Abel Noser. "We've also had a couple of really strong days so it's no surpise to see some profit taking."

In economic news, weekly jobless claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 232,000 from 244,000. Meanwhile, U.S. factory output slipped in July as auto production fell off.

In currencies, the euro fell off from a near 2½-year high against the dollar after a summary from the European Central Bank's July 20 meeting showed officials were concerned about an "overshooting" in the currency.

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