Wall St. drops on earnings caution; Dow below 17,000

NEW YORK Tue Jul 8, 2014 7:32pm EDT

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 8, 2014.      REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 8, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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NEW YORK (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 .SPLRCU 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.

"They need to have a lot of top-line growth and that is what has been disappointing."

In a caveat about consumers, Bill Simon, the chief executive of Wal-Mart's (WMT.N) U.S. division, told Reuters that while the domestic job market was improving, that wasn't giving consumers enough confidence to boost spending.

Following the close, Alcoa shares rose 1.4 percent to $15.06 after the aluminum producer reported a second-quarter profit.

Profits of S&P 500 companies are expected to grow 6.2 percent in the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data, down from the 8.4 percent growth forecast at the start of April. Revenue is seen up 3 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 117.59 points or 0.69 percent, to 16,906.62. The S&P 500 .SPX slid 13.94 points or 0.70 percent, to 1,963.71. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 60.07 points or 1.35 percent, to 4,391.46.

Small-cap stocks underperformed again, dropping for a second straight day. The Russell 2000 .TOY fell 1.2 percent. The index has dropped 3 percent for the past two sessions, its worst two-day performance since April.

Weakness in tech shares pressured the Nasdaq, with Internet names especially hit hard. Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) fell 3.4 percent to $445.05 while Facebook Inc (FB.O) dropped 3.9 percent to $62.76. TripAdvisor Inc (TRIP.O) sank 5.5 percent to $101.45.

Volume was active, with about 6.18 billion shares traded on U.S. exchanges, above the 5.79 billion average in June, according to data from BATS Global Markets.

Declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1,851 to 1,190, while on the Nasdaq, decliners beat advancers by 2,111 to 547.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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Comments (3)
JustProduce wrote:
Cyclically, the market should regress until about the end of the third quarter.

Jul 08, 2014 10:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
carlmartel wrote:
Why should anyone worry about US profits? We had 1Q 2014 GDP growth of -2.9%. Housing starts fell 9.2% in April, fell 6.5% in May, and housing permits fell 6.4% in June. GM has recalled about 30 million cars. The ACA removes 2.5% per year from US consumers who drive 70% of the US economy. The biggest US trade partner, the EU, had -0.3% 1Q 2014 GDP growth. The ISIL/ISIS/IS Caliphate threatens oil in Syria, Iraq, and the entire Arabian Peninsula while the US and EU have a sanctions conflict against the world’s biggest oil and gas station in Russia, so oil remains above $100 per barrel for the mechanized economies and mechanized militaries of the US and EU.

The US and EU should go into recession in 2Q 2014 and remain there until 4Q 2014 when Back to School, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas should let the US emerge from recession temporarily. Unless some stability returns to the Middle East and we end our quarrel with Russia over Ukraine, we will return to recession in 2015.

Jul 08, 2014 4:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
hsn wrote:
One way to get rid of most violet fluctuations is to have a restriction where one specific stock can’t be traded more than once in 24 hr period. But that would necessitate identification numbers (serial numbers) for each and every share of a company.

Jul 08, 2014 5:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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