* S&P 500, Nasdaq coming off six-day winning streak
* AT&T falls after results, but Boeing rallies
* Amgen drags biotech lower, but Gilead gains
* Indexes down: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.5 pct
(Updates to open)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, April 23 U.S. stocks edged lower on
Wednesday as weakness in AT&T and biotech names inspired
investors to take profits following six straight days of gains,
though a rally in Boeing limited losses.
AT&T Inc fell 3.4 percent to $35.07 a day after the
Dow component reported adjusted earnings that beat expectations
by a penny, though that was offset by weak service revenue
growth. Verizon Communications fell 1.1 percent to $47.41
while the S&P telecom sector dropped 1.8 percent, by
far the worst-performing sector on the day.
Biotech shares fell a day after Amgen Inc reported
earnings that were below forecasts. The stock fell 6 percent to
$112.16 and the Nasdaq biotech index lost 1.4 percent.
Biogen Idec Inc fell 1.8 percent to $300.73 despite a
Gilead Sciences Inc late Tuesday posted a sharp
profit increase, sending shares up 2.9 percent to $74.95. While
the biotech results were mixed, they did point to some
fundamental strength in the group, easing concerns it was
"Earnings season has been better than expected, but revenue
growth has been static, which is concerning because of its
implications for margins," said Michael Mullaney, who oversees
about $11 billion as chief investment officer at Fiduciary Trust
Co in Boston. "If margins are going to stay at record levels,
we'll need revenue acceleration. Otherwise we may not see upside
surprises going forward."
Boeing Co reported first-quarter revenue that beat
expectations and lifted its core earnings forecast to reflect a
tax settlement gain, sending shares up 2 percent to $130.15.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 18.98
points, or 0.11 percent, at 16,495.39. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 1.89 points, or 0.10 percent, at 1,877.66.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 19.09 points, or
0.46 percent, at 4,142.37.
Better-than-expected corporate earnings have boosted Wall
Street lately, though companies have largely been beating
reduced forecasts. According to Thomson Reuters data, profits
are seen rising 1.6 percent this quarter, down from the 6.5
percent growth rate estimated at the start of the year.
With 28 percent of the S&P 500 having reported results, 65.2
percent have topped expectations, according to Thomson Reuters
data, above the long-term average of 63 percent. On the revenue
side, 53.6 percent have exceeded forecasts, below the 61 percent
Procter & Gamble Co's earnings topped analyst
forecasts but revenues were flat and shares edged 0.8 percent
lower to $79.93.
New home sales dropped 14.5 percent in March, tumbling more
than expected to an eight-month low. Housing
stocks fell 1 percent, with D.R. Horton Inc off
2.3 percent to $21.33.
(Editing by Nick Zieminski)