* Energy and tech lead declines
* Jabil Circuit latest company to cut outlook
* S&P up 5.2 pct so far for 3rd quarter
* Dow off 0.3 pct, S&P 500 off 0.6 pct, Nasdaq down 0.8 pct
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Sept 26 The S&P 500 fell for a fifth
straight trading day on Wednesday as protests in Spain and
Greece over euro zone austerity measures raised fresh concerns
over Europe's ability to get its debt crisis under control.
Investors sold risk-sensitive sectors such as energy and
tech, while they poured money into more defensive areas like
utilities and consumer staples. The S&P technology sector
declined 0.8 percent and the energy sector fell
0.9 percent, while S&P utilities ended up 0.2 percent.
Violent protests in Madrid against expected austerity
measures and growing talk of secession in the wealthy Catalonia
region increased pressure on Spanish Prime Minister Mariano
Rajoy as he moves closer to asking euro zone policymakers for
Meanwhile, Greece faced its biggest anti-austerity protest
in more than a year as international lenders admitted to
difficulty in working out how to solve Athens' debt crisis.
"When it gets down to it, there is real disagreement between
the people in the streets and the policy makers" in Europe, said
Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in
Bedford Hills, New York.
"I think it's certainly causing some concerns" for
investors, he said, adding, "The market's probably looking for
an excuse to have a correction."
The S&P 500 is up 5.2 percent so far for the third quarter
and 1.9 percent for September, historically a weak month for
equities. Gains were largely tied to actions taken by the U.S.
Federal Reserve and European Central Bank to prop up their
For the day, the Dow Jones industrial average was
down 44.04 points, or 0.33 percent, at 13,413.51. The Standard &
Poor's 500 Index was down 8.27 points, or 0.57 percent,
at 1,433.32. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 24.03
points, or 0.77 percent, at 3,093.70.
Longer term, the outlook for stocks appeared more positive.
While the S&P 500 wasn't expected to move much from its current
level through the end of the year, according to a Reuters poll
of analysts, it should advance in the first half of 2013,
largely on central bank actions.
Also weighing on tech shares Wednesday, Jabil Circuit
tumbled 9.9 percent to $18.90 after the technology
company reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed
expectations and forecast weak first-quarter results.
Other recent earnings warnings from companies including
FedEx Corp, the world's second biggest package delivery
company, and Caterpillar Inc, the biggest maker of
earth-moving equipment, have sparked concerns about global
Outlooks for the third quarter are at the most negative
since 2001, according to Thomson Reuters data. The
negative-to-positive ratio for the upcoming earnings period
stands at 4.3 to 1.
On the plus side for the day, American Greetings Corp
jumped 17.3 percent to $16.82 after the company said it received
an offer to go private from a group led by its chief executive,
valuing the greeting card company at about $580 million.
Economic data showed prices of new U.S. single-family home
sales vaulted to their highest level in more than five years in
August, the latest evidence the housing market was making
Volume was roughly 6.54 billion shares traded on the New
York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the Amex, compared with the
year-to-date average daily closing volume of 6.53 billion, even
though many participants were out for the observance of the
Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by about 17 to
12, and on the Nasdaq by about 5 to 3.