* Intel falls after results, outlook
* American Express and Visa lead the Dow's gainers
* Morgan Stanley stock hits highest since 2009 after results
* UPS, Con-way pull DJ Transportation Average lower
* Dow up 0.4 pct, S&P 500 off 0.2 pct, Nasdaq down 0.3 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Jan 17 U.S. stock indexes mostly
slipped on Friday, as declines in Intel and General Electric
more than offset a rally in American Express shares in the wake
of quarterly earnings.
Shares of Intel Corp slid 3.5 percent to $25.60 and
weighed on each of the three major U.S. stock indexes a day
after the chipmaker's fourth-quarter earnings missed
expectations by a penny due to weak spending on servers. Intel
gave a lukewarm forecast for first-quarter revenue.
General Electric Co shares dropped 2.6 percent to
$26.49. The conglomerate reported a slightly
better-than-expected increase in revenue on Friday, propelled by
its businesses selling oil pumps and jet engines.
Bucking the session's slight downtrend was American Express
Co, which reported quarterly results late on Thursday.
Its strong numbers also boosted its peer Visa. Both were
the top gainers in the Dow Jones industrial average, which
outperformed the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.
AmEx shares jumped 4.7 percent to $91.88. Visa gained 3.2
percent to $228.80.
As earnings continue to trickle in, analysts expect the
market to get more clarity on the strength of Corporate America
and look for leadership to define the next move.
"The market was teased in a good way by some of the first
earnings, tempered later with disappointing numbers, and it's
trying to make a sense of what the quarter is going to be," said
John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds
Management in New York.
Morgan Stanley rose 4.3 percent to $33.38 after
previously hitting $33.52, its highest since November 2009. The
bank reported a sharp drop in quarterly profit as it was hit by
legal bills, but adjusted earnings beat estimates.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 61.32 points, or
0.37 percent, to 16,478.33. The S&P 500 fell 3.17 points,
or 0.17 percent, to 1,842.72. The Nasdaq Composite
declined 13.82 points, or 0.33 percent, to 4,204.87
After the S&P 500's 30 percent surge in 2013, largely due to
stimulus from the Federal Reserve, the benchmark index started
the year on a weak note. But the S&P 500 recovered recently to
set a record closing high on Wednesday. For the year, the S&P
500 is down about 0.3 percent.
The economy, expected to show further signs of recovery as
the Fed slowly withdraws its stimulus, gave reassuring signs.
Data showed U.S. industrial output rose at its fastest clip in
3-1/2 years in the fourth quarter as factory activity closed out
the year on a strong note.
Monthly housing starts posted their largest percentage
decline since April, but were coming off a six-year high reached
in November, and the decline was smaller than economists had
expected. The PHLX housing sector index lost 1.2 percent.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary
reading on the consumer sentiment index slipped to 80.4 from
82.5 in December, weighed by lowered expectations among lower-
and middle-income families.
The Dow Jones Transportation Average dipped 0.2
percent, dragged down by a 1.1 percent drop in UPS Inc
to $99.34 and a 2.5 percent decline in Con-Way to $40.37
after fourth-quarter outlooks.
NII Holdings jumped 19.6 percent to $2.87 after the
company said it had reached a deal to bring Apple's
iPhone to its Nextel operation in Brazil.
U.S.-traded shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev fell 1.9
percent to $101.52 after Reuters reported that the brewing giant
is in advanced discussions to buy South Korea's Oriental Brewery
from private equity owners KKR and Affinity Equity
Partners for more than $4.5 billion.