US STOCKS-Wall St retreats as cyclicals weigh; small-caps sag
* Focus turns to earnings season
* Despite session's decline, Dow ends slightly above 17,000
* Defensive sectors outperform for the day
* Dow off 0.3 pct; S&P 500 down 0.4 pct; Nasdaq off 0.8 pct (Updates to close)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, July 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dipped on Monday, retreating from last week's record levels as investors hesitated to make big bets before the start of earnings season.
Cyclical stocks, which are tied to the pace of economic growth, ranked among the weakest of the day. The S&P industrial sector index fell 0.7 percent. The only sectors finishing the session on the plus side were defensive groups such as utilities, up 0.4 percent, telecom, up 0.3 percent and consumer staples, up 0.1 percent.
Small-cap stocks also underperformed, with the S&P Small-Cap 600 index down 1.5 percent. The Russell 2000 fell 1.8 percent, its biggest percentage drop since April 25.
Wall Street hit a number of milestones on Thursday, the final session before the Independence Day holiday, with the Dow topping 17,000 for the first time and the S&P 500 closing at a record high after a strong June jobs report. Continuación...