* Dow down 0.2 pct, S&P 500 off 0.3 pct, Nasdaq off 0.3 pct
* Federal Reserve says to keep buying mortgage debt
* Boeing dips after results, but Dow Chemical jumps on
* Facebook shares jump a day after results
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Oct 24 U.S. stocks ended lower for a
second day on Wednesday, as investors soured on another round of
underwhelming corporate results and the Federal Reserve said it
would stick to its stimulus plan until the job market improves.
The S&P 500 has lost 3.6 percent over the past five
sessions, hurt by weak earnings outlooks and top-line revenue
misses from large multinational companies. The index is now down
3.9 percent from its closing high of 1,465.77 set on Sept. 14.
Boeing bucked the trend with a more optimistic
outlook, but it could not break away from the rest of the market
as it was pulled into negative territory in the afternoon.
Shares of the defense and aerospace company, a Dow component,
fell 0.2 percent to $72.71.
The Fed, in its latest policy statement, said it would keep
buying $40 billion in mortgage-backed debt per month to keep
interest rates low until the job picture gets
"Unemployment is staying where it is, new jobs are minimal,
and the Fed is staying defensive," said Allan Flader, financial
advisor at RBC Wealth Management, in Phoenix. "I would be
surprised if they went to a neutral stance any time soon. You
need to see more credible increases in employment, and it's just
not happening yet."
On Sept. 13, the Fed unveiled a third round of economic
stimulus, or quantitative easing, known as QE3.
The Dow Jones industrial average shed 25.19 points,
or 0.19 percent, to close at 13,077.34. The Standard & Poor's
500 Index dropped 4.36 points, or 0.31 percent, to
1,408.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 8.77
points, or 0.29 percent, to end at 2,981.70.
After the close, shares of Best Buy Co slid 6.9
percent to $15.75 after the No. 1 U.S. electonics chain warned
that its fiscal third-quarter earnings and same-store sales
would fall. Best Buy closed the regular session at $16.92, up
But shares of online game maker Zynga jumped 12.7
percent to $2.40 after the bell after the company raised the
lower end of its 2012 earnings outlook. In regular trading,
Zynga fell 3.2 percent to close at $2.13.
During the regular session, Facebook Inc shares
soared 19.1 percent to $23.23 a day after the social networking
company's quarterly results showed a surprising surge in mobile
Shares of Apple, scheduled to report after
Thursday's close, rose 0.6 percent to $616.83.
The day's other gainers included Dow Chemical Co,
the largest U.S. chemical maker, which said late on Tuesday it
would cut 5 percent of its work force and shut 20 plants to
counter a slowing global economy. Its stock jumped 4.7 percent
On the down side , shares of movie rental company Netflix
tumbled 11.9 percent to $60.12 after it cut its
subscriber forecast, and shares of data-storage equipment maker
EMC Corp fell 0.9 percent to $24.46 after it cut its
Eli Lilly and Co and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co
posted lower-than-expected profit and their shares fell.
Eli Lilly shares tumbled 2.7 percent to $50.50. Shares of
Bristol-Myers slipped 0.6 percent to $33.05.
With results in from 186 of the S&P 500 companies, 59.1
percent have reported earnings above analysts' expectations,
below the 62 percent long-term average, according to Thomson
For revenue , just 38.2 percent of companies have beaten
analysts' expectations, while 61.8 percent have fallen short. In
a typical quarter, 62 percent of companies beat estimates.
Homebuilders' stocks ranked among the session's best
performers. An index of housing stocks shot up 0.7
percent. Shares of PulteGroup, one of the largest U.S.
homebuilders, gained 0.8 percent to $17.45.
Sales of new U.S. single-family homes jumped 5.7 percent in
September to the highest level in nearly 2-1/2 years, offering
more evidence that the housing market's recovery is improving.
Volume was roughly 6.2 billion shares traded on the New York
Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, compared with the
year-to-date average daily closing volume of 6.51 billion.
Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a ratio of
about 16 to 13. On the Nasdaq, about 14 stocks fell for every 11