* 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
* Dow off 0.2 pct; S&P 500 down 0.2 pct; Nasdaq off 0.8 pct
(Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, April 23 U.S. stocks declined on
Wednesday after a six-session winning streak as gains in Boeing
and Gilead were offset by slides in AT&T and the wider biotech
AT&T Inc fell 3.6 percent to $35 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 shed 1.2 percent to $47.36 while
the S&P telecom sector index dropped 2.1 percent,
easily making it the session's worst-performing sector so far.
Biotech shares tumbled, pulling the Nasdaq lower. Amgen Inc
slid 5.9 percent to $112.23 a day after the company
reported earnings that missed forecasts. Biogen Idec Inc
fell 1.3 percent to $302.50 despite a strong outlook.
Both the Nasdaq biotech index and NYSEArca biotech
index lost 1.5 percent.
"You've got some big numbers coming out from companies that
have already been pretty volatile in the Nasdaq, and there is
some caution against the potential for shortfalls that could
restart Nasdaq on the way down," said Rick Meckler, president of
investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City,
"This is traditionally not going to be a particularly strong
time for earnings reports, and it's easy to take less inspiring
numbers and say this market is overvalued or pass them by and
say this is a seasonally low point. So it really is more about
investors' own view of how high a multiple they are willing to
But there were bright spots within the sector. Gilead
Sciences Inc rose 2.4 percent to $74.64 and Illumina
Inc gained 5.3 percent to $155.81 after the companies
posted their quarterly results late Tuesday.
Boeing Co reported first-quarter revenue that beat
expectations and lifted its core earnings forecast to reflect a
tax settlement gain, sending its stock up 2.1 percent to $130.18
and giving the biggest boost to the Dow.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.43 points or
0.15 percent, to 16,488.94. The S&P 500 slipped 4.66
points or 0.25 percent, to 1,874.89. The Nasdaq Composite
dropped 35.044 points or 0.84 percent, to 4,126.414.
Better-than-expected 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.
Of the 141 companies in the S&P 500 that have posted results
so far, 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 long-term average.
Procter & Gamble Co's earnings topped analysts'
forecasts but revenues were flat. The stock slipped 0.5 percent
New home sales dropped 14.5 percent in March, tumbling more
than expected to an eight-month low. The PHLX housing sector
index fell 1.2 percent, with D.R. Horton Inc off
3.3 percent at $21.13.
(Editing by Jan Paschal)