* Investors looking ahead to bellwether company earnings
* Lululemon, SodaStream, Express fall after outlooks
* Indexes down: Dow 0.8 pct, S&P 1 pct, Nasdaq 1.1 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Jan 13 U.S. stocks fell on Monday on
caution ahead of an onslaught of corporate results as negative
pre-announcements pile up, leaving a lackluster profit growth
Wall Street has seen a slow start to the year following a
gangbusters 2013. After the S&P 500's jump of almost 30 percent
last year, its forward price-to-earnings ratio is the highest in
nearly seven years and investors are weighing the risk of paying
such a premium for earnings that may see growth stall.
Almost 10 out of 11 earnings pre-announcements from S&P 500
companies lowered estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Various companies that cut forecasts on Monday, including
SodaStream, Lululemon Athletica, Express Inc
and Aaron's saw their stocks get hit.
"People have moved to the sidelines waiting for earnings to
get a little more clarity," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market
strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.
"Fundamentals are going to have to support gains in the
future," he said, pointing to the gradual decline in the
stimulus from the Federal Reserve that has pushed U.S. equities
as an asset class higher.
After the stellar year stocks had in 2013, "there's no need
to be aggressive in 2014 until the companies you care about have
reported earnings and given you an all-clear," said O'Rourke.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 135.76 points
or 0.83 percent, to 16,301.29, the S&P 500 lost 17.57
points or 0.95 percent, to 1,824.8 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 45.34 points or 1.09 percent, to 4,129.324.
Equities have started 2014 on a lackluster note as market
participants tried to gauge how quickly the Fed will wind down
Lululemon, Express Inc, Aaron's and SodaStream gave weak
outlooks. Lululemon sank 16.6 percent to $49.69 while Express
slid 2.9 percent to $18.47; Aaron's lost 7.1 percent to $26.92
and SodaStream plunged 23.9 percent to $37.96.
But Wendy's outlook was a bright spot, sending
shares up 6.2 percent to $8.96 after the fast-food restaurant
chain estimated adjusted quarterly earnings above analysts'
In merger news, Beam Inc agreed to be acquired by
Suntory Holdings Ltd for $16 billion, including debt. Shares of
Beam jumped 24.2 percent to $83.18.