US STOCKS-Wall St drops on earnings caution; Dow below 17,000
* S&P 500 holds near-term support
* Alcoa climbs in extended trade after results
* Internet names among weakest of the day
* Dow off 0.7 pct; S&P 500 down 0.7 pct; Nasdaq off 1.4 pct (Updates to close, adds Alcoa results)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, July 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell in a broad selloff on Tuesday, dropping for a second straight session and driving the Dow below 17,000 as investors turned cautious before the start of earnings season.
The benchmark S&P 500 index, however, recovered from earlier lows and managed to hold near its 14-day moving average of 1,964.61. That would be a sign of weak near-term momentum if the S&P 500 declined below that level by a significant amount. Nine of the 10 primary S&P 500 sector indexes declined, with only the defensive utilities group higher for the day.
U.S. stocks have performed well recently, with major indexes hitting repeated records. Last week, the Dow closed above 17,000 for the first time ever. The advance has largely come on the back of strong data. Market participants are looking to earnings for confirmation that the economy recovered in the second quarter from the impact of a harsh winter.
"The big companies have squeezed everything out they possibly can to get these manufactured earnings to look good," said Derrick Handwerk, managing partner of Handwerk Multi Family Office in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Continuación...