Stocks retreated from recent record highs on Thursday as AT&T shares sank after it said it lost subscribers in the last quarter and banks slipped following results from JPMorgan and Citigroup.
JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup said they had set aside more money for credit card lending losses in the third quarter, stoking concerns about consumer credit, even as they reported results that topped analyst estimates.
JPMorgan fell 0.9 percent and Citigroup fell 3.4 percent, making them among the largest drags on the S&P 500, with the S&P financials index ending down 0.7 percent. Their results kicked off the quarterly reporting period and will be followed by reports on Friday from Bank of America and Wells Fargo (WFC.N).
With the S&P 500 up about 14 percent so far in 2017, investors are hoping earnings growth can help justify valuations. Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings grew 4.4 percent in the third quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data. S&P 500 companies posted double-digit profit gains in both the first and second quarters.
DirecTV owner AT&T weighed on the S&P 500 as it fell 6.1 percent after AT&T lost 90,000 U.S. video subscribers in the third quarter due to intense competition and the impact of recent hurricanes. Related stocks also fell, including Comcast, down 3.9 percent.
Among other media-related stocks, Viacom said Charter Communications subscribers may lose access to its channels as the expiration looms for a distribution deal. Charter fell 2.6 percent, while Viacom was down 2.5 percent.
Tesla ended up 0.3 percent, paring gains late in the session. It said it was conducting a voluntary recall of some 2016 and 2017 Model X vehicles.
Approximately 6.0 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, a number that is close to the 6.1 billion share daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.