Ho-hum earnings numbers cap worst week since June
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FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, file photo, trader F. Hill Creekmore works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stock futures are edging higher Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, after mixed third-quarter results from two major banks, which has been the pattern all week as the U.S. earnings season kicks off. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) Purchase photo reprints »
Stocks closed out their worst week since June after investors looked over third-quarter corporate earnings reports and decided there wasn’t much to get excited about.
The big indexes were mixed on Friday. But they were all down more than 2 percent for the week. That was their worst weekly showing since the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 3 percent for the week ending June 1.
On Friday, the S&P closed down 4.25 points at 1,428.59. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 2.46 points to close at 13,328.85, giving up an earlier gain of 75. The Nasdaq composite lost 5.30 points to close at 3,044.11.
Investors haven’t had much to like this week, with mixed results from U.S. companies including Alcoa, Safeway and Yum Brands. Investors have seemed unsure how to evaluate the news. This week stocks have posted some of their biggest daily losses in the 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 11.8 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 93 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $34.25, and JPMorgan fell 48 cents to $41.62. Bank of America fell 22 cents to $9.12. US Bancorp lost 67 cents to $33.72.
Financial and utility stocks had the biggest declines among the 10 industries in the S&P 500.
Trucking and logistics company J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. rose $3.58, or 6.5 percent, to $58.37 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 46 cents, or 14 percent, to $2.74, 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 $20.69, or 73.9 percent, to $48.69 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 21 cents lower at $91.86 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.