* Market consolidates after "fiscal cliff" rally
* Yum shares fall on shrinkage of sales in China
* Monsanto stock jumps after strong earnings, raised outlook
* GameStop shares slide after sales data, guidance
* Indexes off: Dow 0.55 pct, S&P 500 0.47 pct, Nasdaq 0.41
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Jan 8 U.S. stocks declined on Tuesday
as the market continued its retreat from last week's rally on
the "fiscal cliff" deal in Congress as investors awaited the
start of the earnings season with muted expectations.
Profits in the fourth quarter are seen above the previous
quarter's lackluster results, but analysts' current estimates
are down sharply from where they were in October. Quarterly
earnings are expected to grow by 2.7 percent, according to
Thomson Reuters data.
The benchmark S&P index has fallen 0.5 percent in the wake
of the 4.3 percent jump in the two days surrounding the
conclusion of the fiscal cliff debate, and investors have found
few catalysts to extend the brief rally.
"We had a brief respite courtesy of what happened on the
fiscal cliff deal and the flip of the calendar with new money
coming into the market," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice
president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
"But now the stark reality of uncertainty with regard to
earnings, plus the negotiations on the debt ceiling, are there
and that doesn't give investors a lot of reason to take bets on
the long side."
In Tuesday's results, Monsanto Co shares rose 2.6
percent to $98.45 after hitting a more than four-year high at
$99.99. The world's largest seed company raised its earnings
outlook for fiscal 2013 and posted strong first-quarter results.
Education provider Apollo Group and Dow component
Alcoa Inc, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, round out
the start of earnings season after the closing bell.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 73.13
points, or 0.55 percent, to 13,311.16. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index lost 6.91 points, or 0.47 percent, to 1,454.98. The
Nasdaq Composite Index fell 12.68 points, or 0.41
percent, to 3,086.13.
AT&T Inc, which fell 1.8 percent to $34.30, was among
the biggest drags on the S&P 500 after the company said it had
sold more than 10 million smartphones in the quarter, topping
the same quarter in 2011 but also increasing costs for the
wireless service provider.
Providers like AT&T pay hefty subsidies to handset makers so
that they can offer device discounts to customers who commit to
The S&P telecom services index, down 2.4 percent,
was the worst performing of the 10 major S&P sectors.
Shares of restaurant-chain operator Yum Brands Inc
fell 4.2 percent to $65.04 a day after the KFC parent warned
sales in China, its largest market, shrank more than expected in
the fourth quarter.
Sears Holdings shares dropped 3.8 percent to $41.31
a day after the company said Chairman Edward Lampert would take
over as CEO from Louis D'Ambrosio, who is stepping down due to a
family member's health issue. The U.S. retailer also reported a
1.8 percent decline in quarter-to-date sales at stores open at
least a year.
GameStop shares slumped 6.2 percent to $23.22 as the
worst performer on the S&P 500 after the video game retailer
reported sales for the holiday season and cut its guidance.