The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

October 12, 2012

US stocks fall, headed for weekly decline

NEW YORK — Stocks slipped on Friday, putting Wall Street’s big indexes on track for their worst week since early June.

Bank and energy stocks led the way lower after investors had a mixed reaction to earnings reports from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

In afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was off six points at 13,321, giving up an earlier gain of 75. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell four points to 1,429 and the Nasdaq composite lost two points to 3,047.

All three indexes are down more than 2 percent for the week, enough to make this their worst week since June. Investors haven’t had much to get excited about, with mixed results this week from U.S. companies including Alcoa, Safeway and Yum Brands. Investors have seemed unsure how to evaluate the news, with stocks posting some of their biggest daily losses in late morning or early afternoon.

“It’s been a relative downer week in the market this week, and people are going into the weekend not wanting to hang out there too much,” said Bill Stone, chief investment strategist for PNC Wealth Management.

Looking beyond this week, stocks have had a strong run. The S&P 500 is up more than 11 percent since June 1. The run-up suggested that investors were anticipating a strong economic recovery. Now it’s put-up or shut-up time for corporate profits.

“What people have to decide is, is America going into recession with the rest of the world, or are we going to start accelerating and lead the way out of recession for the rest of the world,” said Randy Warren, chief investment officer for Warren Financial Service.

Financial stocks were the focus on Friday.

The nation’s largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, blew away Wall Street’s expectations for quarterly profits. Wells Fargo just edged out profit forecasts but its revenue fell short.

Wells Fargo fell 98 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $34.20, and JPMorgan fell 44 cents to $41.66. Bank of America fell 21 cents to $9.13. US Bancorp lost 732 cents to $33.66.

Financial and utility stocks had the biggest declines among the 10 industries in the S&P 500. Technology stocks rose, led by Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and Cisco.

Trucking and logistics company J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. rose $4, or 7.3 percent, to $58.79 after its third-quarter profit rose almost 14 percent on strong growth in handling containers that move by ship, rail, or truck.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. dropped 39 cents, or 12 percent, to $2.81, after the chipmaker said its third-quarter revenue will fall about 10 percent from the second quarter because of weak demand for its products.

Workday Inc.’s initial public offering popped. The company provides remote storage for human resources and finance. The stock rose $21, or 75 percent, to $49 on its first day of trading.

European markets were mostly lower. The Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.6 percent, while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC-40 each gave up 0.7 percent.

Trading was steady in other markets too. The euro edged up 0.3 percent to $1.296 and the benchmark oil price was 27 cents lower at $91.80 per barrel in New York trading.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged down to 1.66 percent from 1.67 percent late Thursday.

 

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Poll

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday that a tax cut approved by the Legislature could have a “cataclysmic” effect on state revenues to the tune of $4.8 billion. House Majority Leader John Diehl calls that “absurd.” Who do you believe?

A. Nixon
B. Diehl
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