Stocks pull back from record highs in early U.S. trading

NEW YORK — Stocks were modestly lower in early trading today, as stocks eased after hitting more records last week. Most of investors’ attention will turn to company earnings, as the busiest time for quarterly results will be this week and next.

The S&P 500 index was down 0.3% as of 9 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.4%, pulled down by health care and industrial companies. The Nasdaq fell 0.4%.

Earnings are front and center this week, as investors look to justify the recent rise in stock prices with the profits needed to keep the market fueled in this recovery. On average analysts are expecting profits across the S&P 500 to be up 24% from a year earlier, according to FactSet.

Eighty one out of the 500 members of the S&P 500 will report this week, as well as 10 out the 30 members of the Dow, including Johnson & Johnson, Verizon Communications and Intel.

The bond market was relatively stable. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 1.60%. Outside of earnings, a good amount of investor attention is focused on the bond market as government stimulus and the recovering economy have led to concerns about inflation.

Peloton fell 5% after regulators issued a safety notice over the exercise equipment company’s new treadmill. The company hasn’t been forced to recall the treadmill, and it’s fighting the issue.