* Goldman, Citigroup earnings push financial stocks lower
* United Health, CSX drop on results; Best Buy plummets
* Dow down 0.4 pct, S&P 500 off 0.2 pct, Nasdaq up 0.03 pct
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Jan 16 The Dow and S&P 500 dipped on
Thursday, led by financial shares after a round of disappointing
earnings from the sector.
The S&P 500 pulled back from record levels and was nearly
flat for the week.
Financials were the biggest drag on the market after both
Citigroup Inc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc reported
quarterly profits hit by lower bond trading revenue, with
Goldman's earnings falling 21 percent and Citigroup's missing
The results followed fairly positive reads on the sector
from JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp
and Wells Fargo & Co.
Goldman's stock slid 2.1 percent to $175.06, one of the
Dow's biggest decliners, while Citigroup dropped 4.1 percent to
$52.75. The S&P financial sector index fell 0.7 percent,
making it the biggest loser among the S&P 500 sectors.
Given last year's 30-percent gain for the S&P 500, the
market doesn't need much of a catalyst for selling, said Uri
Landesman, president of Platinum Partners in New York.
"I think you could see a ratchet downward. It's pricing in
just a lot of rosiness and a lot of enthusiasm, and the odds are
that the news isn't going to be good enough to sustain that," he
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 69.99 points or
0.42 percent, to 16,411.95, the S&P 500 lost 3.41 points
or 0.18 percent, to 1,844.97 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 1.244 points or 0.03 percent, to 4,216.128.
With results in from just 6 percent of S&P 500 companies,
just 48 percent of earnings are beating expectations, below the
long-term average of 63 percent for a full season.
UnitedHealth Group Inc was the Dow's biggest
decliner, falling 2.5 percent to $72.97 even as the largest U.S.
health insurer reported a higher fourth-quarter profit and said
2014 earnings would improve.
CSX Corp shares sank 7 percent to $27.17 a day after
the U.S. railroad reported profits that missed expectations.
After a lackluster start to 2014 on concerns that stock
valuations may be too high after last year's rally, the index
surged 1.6 percent over the past two sessions to close at a
record high on Wednesday, its first since Dec. 31.
The stock of Best Buy Co Inc plunged 28.2 percent
to $26.99, easily the S&P 500's worst performer. The world's
largest consumer electronics chain reported a drop in holiday
sales and forecast a bigger-than-expected decline in quarterly
In the latest economic data, the Consumer Price Index rose
0.3 percent in December while the core CPI, which strips out
volatile food and energy prices, edged up only 0.1 percent,
suggesting underlying inflation was muted.
In the deal arena, Apollo Global Management LLC said
it would buy CEC Entertainment Inc, the parent of the
Chuck E Cheese restaurant chain, for about $948 million. CEC
Entertainment's stock jumped 12.9 percent to $54.66. In
contrast, Apollo Global's shares were up 0.4 percent at $35.88.