Stocks slip as earnings fail to inspire investors
Steve Rothwell, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2013 11:18AM EST
NEW YORK -- Stocks edged lower on Wall Street as the latest round of earnings reports failed to give investors an impetus to push the market's recent rally forward.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 30 points to 13,949 as of 10:31 a.m. EST Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 dropped three points to 1,508. The Nasdaq composite dropped 5 points to 3,165.
Time Warner rose $2.28 to $52.24 after the company said its net income grew 51 per cent in the last three months of 2012 even as revenue was largely unchanged. Marathon Oil Corp. fell 62 cents to $4.10 after its fourth-quarter net income fell 41 per cent on higher exploration costs and taxes.
Stocks are consolidating their gains after surging since the start of the year. The Dow closed above 14,000 for the first time since December 2007 Friday and had its best January in almost two decades. The index is up 6.4 per cent this year, and the broader S&P 500 is 5.7 per cent higher.
The rally started when lawmakers reached a last-minute deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff," a series of steep tax increases and spending cuts that would have kicked in at the beginning of the year. The gains continued on optimism that the housing market recovery is gaining momentum and that the job market is healing.
As investors become more comfortable holding riskier assets like stocks, they have cut their holdings in defensive investments like U.S. government bonds, sending yields on those bonds higher.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, has risen more than 20 basis points since the start of the year and is trading close to its highest level since April. The yield fell 2 basis points to 1.98 per cent Wednesday.
Among other stocks making big moves:
- Ralph Lauren surged $12.56, or 7.6 per cent, to $177.47 after the designer clothing company posted a 27 per cent increase in income. The company is reporting strong spending among its affluent shoppers in the U.S. and improving trends in Europe.
- Boise Cascade, a wood products and building materials company, jumped $5.30, or 25 per cent, to $26.30 on its first day of trading.