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.

Asian stocks were mixed. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was unchanged at 23,541.38, while in Tokyo the Nikkei shed 0.42% to 15,314.

On Monday, U.S. benchmark indices tumbled after a record-breaking run to close out last week.

In addition to Alcoa, companies to watch Tuesday include Apple (AAPL), Box, General Motors (GM), Germany's Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank (DB), Crumbs  (CRMB), PetSmart (PETM) and Tesla (TSLA).

Apple CEO Tim Cook is actively seeking new directors to add to Apple's eight-person board, The Wall Street Journal reported. Apple shares were slipping 1.4% to $94.59.

General Motors has resisted recalling almost 1.8 million full-size pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles from the 1999 to 2003 model years for corrosion-related brake failures, saying the issue is one of maintenance, The New York Times reported. GM was ticking 0.41% lower.

U.S. authorities have begun settlement talks with Germany's Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank over their dealings with countries blacklisted by the United States, Reuters reported. Deutsche Bank shares were down 2.2%.

Tesla shares were surrendering 3% after it was reported that the electric car maker is being sued in China for trademark infringement, a surprise development that casts a shadow over CEO Musk's ambition to expand rapidly there, Reuters reported.

Box, the online-storage startup, raised $150 million in funding from private-equity firm TPG and hedge fund Coatue Management, the company said on Monday in a regulatory filing.

Longview Asset Management is urging PetSmart's board to consider strategic alternatives, including exploring a sale of the company, shortly after activist hedge fund Jana Partners proposed this path for PetSmart.

Crumbs, the cupcake shop, said it will close all its stores a week after it was delisted from the Nasdaq.

-- By Andrea Tse and Keris Alison Lahiff in New York

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