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US: Stocks lower as bank earnings awaited

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street opened lower on Thursday but the Dow Jones Industrial Average remained within shouting distance of the 20,000 mark as investors awaited Friday earnings reports from major US banks.

US stocks have held on to gains in their post-election rally but seem to be taking a breather in advance of next week's inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. Investors have been exuberant recently in hopes of economic stimulus by Trump, including tax cuts and infrastructure spending.

"The downside bias today could (emphasis on could) have something to do with misgivings about the actual policies living up to the pre-inauguration hype," said Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com. "We won't know and the market won't know until the legislative business gets done."

About 10 minutes in the start of trading on Thursday, the Dow was down 0.5 per cent at 19,856.14 while the broader S&P 500 fell 0.4 per cent to 2,265.21 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 0.6 per cent at 5,530.76.

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