Fizz goes out of S&P with some mediocre reports

Posted: July 18, 2013

NEW YORK - A string of lackluster earnings reports from companies including Coca-Cola and Charles Schwab ended an eight-day winning streak for the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

Coca-Cola, the world's largest beverage maker, fell after the company said it sold less soda in its home market of North America. Retail brokerage Charles Schwab's second-quarter earnings fell short of what analysts were expecting. Marathon Petroleum fell after the fuel refiner forecast weak earnings and said its business was being hurt by renewable fuels laws.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 32.41 points, 0.2 percent, to 15,451.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 6.24 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,676.26. The Nasdaq composite dropped 8.99 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,598.50.

The phone and technology stock groups in the S&P gained. The index is up 4.4 percent in July. The S&P 500 gained for eight straight sessions through Monday, its longest winning streak since January. Had it ended higher Tuesday, it would have marked the longest series of advances since 2004.

Coke dropped 78 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $40.23 after the company reported that its second-quarter profit fell 4 percent. Schwab fell 71 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $21 after its earnings came in short of analysts' expectations as expenses rose and its interest margins fell. Marathon fell $3.17, or 4.3 percent, to $69.93.

Stocks got a boost last week when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank would not ease its stimulus before the economy was ready. Investors will be listening to his comments again this week for more clues about the central bank's outlook. Bernanke gives his semiannual testimony to Congress on Wednesday.

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged from 2.54 percent Monday. The yield, which moves inversely to its price, has fallen since surging as high as 2.74 percent July 5.

In commodities trading, the price of crude oil fell 32 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $106 a barrel and gold rose $6.90, or 0.5 percent, to $1,290.40 an ounce.

The dollar fell against the euro and the Japanese yen.

Among big stock moves, Heidrick & Struggles International dropped $3.07, or 17 percent, to $14.79 after the executive search firm said it is longer pursuing a sale of its business and that its CEO is stepping down.

Ford fell 52 cents, or 3 percent, to $16.60 after Goldman Sachs removed the carmaker from its "conviction buy list" due to a lack of catalysts to push the company's stock higher in the near future. Ford has gained 28 percent this year.

Goldman Sachs dropped $2.76, or 1.7 percent, to $160.24 as investors focused on the outlook for the bank's regulatory environment, even after the bank said its profit doubled in the second quarter.

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