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Stocks Fall At Start Of A Full Week Of Earnings

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(credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Mixed corporate earnings reports sent stock indexes wobbling Monday.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 37 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,468 in midday trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 3, or 0.2 percent, to 1,334. The Nasdaq composite edged up less than 0.1 percent to 2,821.

Stocks fell broadly. Technology companies were the only one of the 10 company groups that make up the S&P index to edge higher. Traders said rising commodity costs were making investors cautious.

“It’s becoming harder to become overly exuberant over backwards-looking earnings when it’s clear that consumers’ pocketbooks are getting squeezed over higher gasoline costs,” said Paul Zemsky, a market strategist at ING Investment Management.

“Given that we’re near the … highs for the year, we’re certainly not adding to our (stock) positions until we get a sense of what these oil prices mean to the consumer.”

Johnson Controls Inc. fell more than 3 percent after the auto parts supplier said it expects revenue to drop by $500 million in the third quarter due to the earthquake in Japan.

Kimberly-Clark Corp., the maker of Kleenex and Huggies, nearly 3 percent after missing earnings estimates. The company also lowered its earnings forecast for the full year. The company said that it plans to raise prices to offset higher costs.

Precious metals rose. Silver futures gained nearly 3.5 percent to $47.75 an ounce, while gold rose 0.5 percent to $1,512 an ounce.

Monday is light on economic data. The Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes rose more than expected in March to 300,000. That’s still less than half of the 700,000-a-year pace that economists consider healthy.

Ford Motor Co., Coca-Cola, and Exxon-Mobil are among the companies reporting earnings this week. Movie rental company Netflix Inc. will release earnings after the market closes.
(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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