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Stocks slide, snapping a 3-day rally

Trader William McInerney reacts Wednesday, April 20, 2016,

Trader William McInerney reacts Wednesday, April 20, 2016, as he works at the New York Stock Exchange. Early Thursday indexes slipped and then turned mixed. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

A steep slide in traditional safe-play stocks such as phone companies and utilities weighed on Wall Street Thursday, snapping a three-day winning streak for the market.

The broad decline came as investors pored over company earnings for clues about the health of corporate America and the trajectory of the U.S. economy. Oil prices also fell, extending losses for the battered energy sector.

“Today might be a little bit of profit-taking after such a big run here,” said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment strategist at U.S. Bank’s Private Client Reserve. “We did have a few companies that reported weaker-than-expected earnings.”

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 113.75 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,982.52. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index shed 10.92 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,091.48. The Nasdaq composite index lost 2.24 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,945.89.

Many more companies are due to post their quarterly results in coming weeks. So far, though, traders have been quick to make moves on stocks, depending on whether the companies lived up to the market’s expectations.

“We’re still seeing a lot of companies struggling to meet that top line of revenue, and that’s the bigger story,” said JJ Kinahan, TD Ameritrade’s chief strategist.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell $1, or 2.3 percent, to close at $43.18 a barrel in New York.

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