Wed, April 18, 2012
Business > Markets

Wall Street falls after big gains as IBM, Intel drag

2012-04-18 23:22:51 GMT2012-04-19 07:22:51(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

U.S. stocks slipped on Wednesday, a day after Wall Street's best gains in a month, as uninspiring earnings from tech bellwethers IBM and Intel gave investors a reason to take profits.

Chesapeake Energy Corp dropped 5.5 percent to $18.06 and was among the most actively traded stocks on the New York Stock Exchange after a Reuters report that CEO Aubrey K. McClendon did not disclose loans of as much as $1.1 billion over the last three years against his stake in thousands of the company's oil and natural gas wells.

The stock fell as low as $17.17, its lowest since July 2009.

International Business Machines Corp and Intel Corp ranked among the biggest drags on the Dow. IBM missed its revenue forecast, while investors said Intel's results failed to make a "bull case" for the stock. IBM shares slipped 3.5 percent to $200.13 while Intel shares fell 1.8 percent to $27.95. The PHLX semiconductor index dropped 0.9 percent.

The lackluster reports from the two technology heavyweights came at the start of what has so far been a strong earnings season.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 had its best day in a month as Coca-Cola Co led the day's round of solid earnings and concerns eased over the euro zone's debt crisis. Tuesday's rally also gave both the Dow and the Nasdaq their biggest one-day percentage gains since March 13.

"Both Intel and IBM have led to some profit-taking today, with both companies posting decent reports, but disappointing investors for different reasons," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial in Westport, Connecticut.

"If you want to be an optimist, you could point to the fact that the market didn't sell off all that much, given the solid advance we saw yesterday."

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 82.79 points, or 0.63 percent, to close at 13,032.75. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 5.64 points, or 0.41 percent, to 1,385.14. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 11.37 points, or 0.37 percent, to 3,031.45.

After the closing bell, shares of Qualcomm fell 3.3 percent to $64.77 as the chipmaker provided a disappointing quarterly and full-year outlook.

In contrast, shares of eBay shot up 7.6 percent to $38.60 in extended-hours trading following the release of its results, which topped expectations.

Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist of Robert W. Baird & Co in Nashville, Tennessee, expects the market to continue its back-and-forth moves, possibly trending lower in the second quarter after strong gains earlier in the year.

"A consolidation or correction phase in the second quarter would make the most sense, and probably it would be the most healthy thing for the market," he said.

In the regular session, among other declining stocks were Berkshire Hathaway Inc's Class B shares , which dropped 1.3 percent to $79.74 a day after CEO Warren Buffett said he has cancer. On Tuesday, Buffett said that he has Stage 1 prostate cancer that "is not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way."

A bright spot in the tech space, Yahoo Inc shares gained 3.2 percent to $15.49, a day after reporting that quarterly revenues rose - marking Yahoo's first quarterly sales growth in three years, as the new CEO outlined plans to revamp the struggling Internet media company.

Eighty percent of S&P 500 companies are beating earnings estimates so far, with results in from 66 companies.

Other advancers included Halliburton Co , up 4.6 percent at $34.17, after the world's No. 2 oilfield services company said North American revenue reached a record high.

In contrast, shares of Genworth Financial Inc slid 23.8 percent to $5.87 after the life and mortgage insurer pushed back the initial public offering of an Australian unit.

Volume was lighter than average, with about 5.95 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, below this year's daily average of 6.67 billion.

Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a ratio of about 2 to 1, and on the Nasdaq, by about 17 to 7.

(Agencies)

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