After inching up slightly in early trading after stronger-than-expected economic data from the US, the UK, and China, US stocks fell back into the red by midday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) down 0.20% to 13,050.60 points as of 12:06 p.m. EDT.
Domestically, durable goods orders increased 9.9% in September, beating the consensus expectation of a 7.1% rise.
“Economic numbers were better than expected, so from an economic perspective, we’re getting there slowly,” Paul Nolte, managing director at Dearborn Partners, told MarketWatch
Procter & Gamble
(NYSE:PG) led all Dow gainers, rising 2.97% to $70.10 after posting earnings results that largely met expectations. The consumer goods multinational reported earnings per share of $1.06 per share on revenue of $20.78 billion for its fiscal first quarter. The consensus estimate had been earnings of $0.96 per share and revenue of $20.78 billion. Importantly, the company did not cut its full-year outlook, maintaining it at earnings of between $3.80 to $4.00 per share.
(NYSE:UNH) also gained 0.03% to $55.94, boosted by rival Aetna’s
(NYSE:AET) (+0.89%) expectations-beating earnings report. A slew of managed care companies were up today, including Coventry Health Care
(NYSE:CVH) (+0.32%), Humana
(NYSE:HUM) (+0.15%), and WellPoint
(NYSE:BA) was the hardest-hit Dow stock on the day, falling 2.13% to $71.16. The durable goods report revealed robust numbers in airline orders, but investors were concerned about the health of the airline industry after United Continental
(NYSE:UAL) (-3.77%) reported an earnings miss.
(NASDAQ:CSCO) (-1.44% to $17.13) continued its downwards momentum from Wednesday. Cisco’s rival Juniper Networks
(NYSE:JNPR) (+0.22%) had issued an estimates-beating earnings report earlier in the week, but warned that its fourth-quarter results would be weaker than it had previously forecast, which had investors worried about growth opportunities in the networking sector.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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