(AP) Stocks edged lower in early trading on Wall Street Thursday, paring the market's big gain for October.
The Standard & Poor's 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed to record highs this month even after a 16-day government shutdown and the threat of a U.S. debt default. The shutdown hurt consumer confidence and pared economic growth, ensuring that the Federal Reserve kept up its economic stimulus effort.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 dropped four points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,758. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 45 points, or 0.3 percent, to 15,573. The Nasdaq composite fell 14 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,916.
The S&P 500 pared its monthly gain to 4.6 percent. The index has advanced in 10 of the past 12 months and is up almost 24 percent this year, putting it on track for its best performance in a decade.
"We've had a very strong market in the month of October," said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan funds. "There are some people who will say we're simply due for a correction, and you know what? They're probably right."
Stocks they fell back from record levels on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy still needed help from its stimulus program. The Fed is buying $85 billion in bonds every month and keeping its benchmark short-term interest rate near zero.
In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.56 percent from 2.54 percent on Wednesday.
In commodities trading, the price of oil fell 44 cents, or 0.45 percent, to $96.26 a barrel. Gold dropped $24.60, or 1.8 percent, to $1,325.20.
Among stocks making big moves:
Avon slumped $4.65, or 20.8 percent, to $17.73 after the company reported a loss for its third quarter, reflecting lower sales in North America and the Asia Pacific region and China-related charges.
JDS Uniphase dropped $1.44, or 9.7 percent, to $13.30 after the company, which makes testing equipment for communications networks, posted revenue projections that were lower than analysts had expected.
Expedia jumped $8.71, or 17.8 percent, to $58.82 after the travel website operator reported third-quarter profit late Wednesday that came in higher than Wall Street had expected.