Stock Market Today: Dow Slips Below 17,000 as Earnings Season Gets Under Way

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks were sliding amid weakness in the international markets and as second-quarter earnings season unfolds.

Ongoing chatter about an earlier-than-expected rate hike by the Federal Reserve continues to underpin market caution. With the job market appearing to gather steam, more and more investors are starting to expect that the U.S. central bank must expedite its timetable for scaling back its ultra-loose monetary policy.

Despite recent stronger-than-expected jobs data, the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey for May showed little movement. The survey indicated 4.6 million job openings on the final business day of May, little changed from 4.5 million in April. Likewise, a hires rate of 3.4% and separations rate of 3.2% barely moved over the month. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.78% to 16,891.5. The S&P 500 retreated 0.82% to 1,961.38. The Nasdaq dumped 1.6% to 4,380.42.

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Second-quarter earnings season unofficially begins Tuesday after the markets close with the announcement of Alcoa's (AA) results. The aluminum maker is forecast by Wall Street to report second-quarter earnings 12 cents a share on revenue of $5.66 billion.

The U.S. market calendar on Tuesday includes Consumer Credit for May at 3 p.m. EDT.

European stocks continued to lose steam on Tuesday, as disappointing corporate news and an unexpected U.K. manufacturing slump caused some jitters. Furthermore, German imports and exports declined more than expected in May, signaling a weakening of Europe's largest economy.

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