Stocks open lower, but near all-time highs, as earnings continue to pour in

U.S. stocks opened slightly lower Wednesday, following two days of trade when all three major benchmarks notched closing records amid renewed optimism that the U.S. and China will soon reach a limited, “phase-one” trade agreement, and as third-quarter earning season continued with focus on the retail sector. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12 points, or less than 0.1% to 27,482, the S&P 500 index lost 2 points, or 0.1% to 3,072 and the Nasdaq Composite index fell 22 points, or 0.3%, to 8,412. Positive headlines on trade progress in recent days has buoyed investor sentiment, though some strategists warn that the market may be getting ahead of itself. In company news, major retailers reported earnings Wednesday morning, with CVS Health Corp. in focus after it beat expectations for third-quarter profits and revenue and raised its full-year outlook. Shares of Wendy’s Co. were also higher on better-than-expected earnings, while Target Corp. shares moved lower after the company announced its holiday deals schedule.

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