By Barbara Kollmeyer
By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch
Deere, JM Smucker and Campbell Soup are stocks to watch
U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower start for Wall Street, on the heels of a session that halted a broad-based rally for equities and amid expectations volumes will thin out ahead of a long holiday weekend.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 50 points, or 0.3%, to 20,544, while S&P futures slipped 5.6 points, or 0.3%, to 2,339.50. Nasdaq-100 futures eased 9.5 points to 5,291.25.
Dow futures indicated that the main index could see its own record run stalled when the regular trading session opens on Friday.
Driven by losses in the energy sector, U.S. stocks pulled back from a string of simultaneous records on Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-in-holding-pattern-after-best-record-run-in-25-years-2017-02-16), with only the Dow managing to eke out a fresh high -- it gained less than 0.1% to close at 20,619.77. The S&P 500 index closed down 0.1% to 2,347.22, while the Nasdaq Composite also lost 0.1% to finish at 5,814.90.
The pullback came partly after a press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump revealed that tax-reform proposals (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-says-health-care-proposal-coming-in-march-2017-02-16) will come only after a push to replace Obamacare in March. Optimism over the Trump administration's fiscal plans has helped drive gains for stocks.
Opinion:Trump's tax reform looks like just another of his tweets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trumps-tax-promise-looks-like-just-another-of-his-tweets-2017-02-16)
For the week so far, the Dow industrials have gained 1.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 trail with gains of 1.4% and 1.3%.
Some investors believe a bigger pause is on the way for stocks, though that's not likely to come on the Friday before a U.S. holiday, said Lee Wild, head of equity strategy at Interactive Investor. He said the Presidents Day holiday, which will shutter stock and bond markets on Monday (), means there will be little appetite to build new positions.
"A pullback on tax reform seems to be the biggest banana skin" for investors, said Wild in a note to clients.
Read:Investors might finally be recognizing risk in the stock market (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/investors-might-be-finally-recognizing-risk-in-the-stock-market-2017-02-16)
In the lengthy press conference on Thursday, Trump spoke of inheriting a "mess" (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-look-at-the-economy-trump-inherited-which-he-calls-a-mess-2017-02-16) from former President Barack Obama and sparred with members of the media.
Wild noted the market will be keen to hear what Trump says in his inaugural State of the Union address to Congress on 28 Feb.
Economic docket: It's also a light day for data. The only top-tier releases are leading indicators for January and a fourth-quarter report on advance services, both due at 10 a.m. Eastern Time
Stocks to watch: Earnings reports from Deere & Co.(DE) , JM Smucker Co.(SJM) and Campbell Soup Co.(CPB) are expected ahead of the opening bell.
Read:What to expect from Deere earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/deere-earnings-what-to-expect-2017-02-16)
Shares of WebMD Health Corp.(WBMD) were halted late Thursday after the online group said it may put itself up for sale (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/webmd-stock-halted-company-may-sell-itself-2017-02-16).
Other markets: Asian stocks finished on a largely weaker note after U.S. stocks largely snapped their record run. European stocks slipped (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-slip-trimming-their-gain-for-the-week-2017-02-17).
The dollar was slightly higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-flattens-out-ahead-of-three-day-weekend-in-the-us-2017-02-17). Oil prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-rise-moderately-on-hopes-for-more-cuts-from-opec-2017-02-17) were mostly flat, while gold pulled back.