Written by STAN CHOE-AP Business Writer
(AP) — U.S. stock indexes pulled back from their record highs Thursday after drops for technology, health care and industrial stocks offset another big gain for telecoms.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 11 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,467 as of 3 p.m. Eastern time. Earlier in the day, it had been up by 6 points to extend its record run.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,731, and the Nasdaq composite fell 63 points, or 1 percent, to 6,359. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks fell 11 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,431.
EARNINGS AT CENTER STAGE: Close to half of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their earnings for the latest quarter, and the results have been mostly encouraging. Not only are profits growing, so are revenues for many companies.
But expectations were high coming into the reporting season. Companies’ stocks are getting less of a boost than usual after reporting earnings that beat analysts’ forecasts, said Nate Thooft, senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management. At the same time, companies seem to be getting punished more than usual for falling short of expectations, with deeper drops in stock prices.
HARD FALL: Software company CA sank $3.52, or 10.2 percent, to $31.13 for the largest loss in the S&P 500 after reports said merger talks between it and BMC Software have ended.
It had earlier been on track for an up day, but shares plunged close to noon following the reports.
CLOUDY OUTLOOK: F5 Networks was another tech stock that helped lead the S&P 500 lower. It reported weaker revenue for the latest quarter than analysts expected and gave a forecast for earnings this quarter that fell short of some analysts’ forecasts.
Its stock lost $8.88, or 6.9 percent, to $119.32.
BLOCK IT: Twitter dropped $2.73, or 13.9 percent, to $16.88. It reported better-than-expected quarterly results, but it also said that its monthly average user base did not grow from the prior quarter.
LUNG CANCER STUDY: Drugmaker AstraZeneca plunged after it said its lung cancer drug Imfinzi did not reach its goals in a clinical trial. The company said patients treated with Imfinzi did not have better progression-free survival, or the amount of times patients lived until either death or disease progression, compared to chemotherapy. U.S.-listed shares of AstraZeneca dropped $5.17, or 15.2 percent, to $28.77.
Competitor Bristol-Myers Squibb fell $1.89, or 3.4 percent, to $54.09 as investors grew more pessimistic about studies of some of its drugs.
HEAVY INDUSTRY: Industrial companies also struggled. Johnson Controls tumbled $3.26, or 7.5 percent, to $40.06. It reported weaker-than-expected revenue for the latest quarter and trimmed the upper end of the range for its forecast for full-year earnings per share.
United Parcel Service fell $4.98, or 4.4 percent, to $107.31 as investors were disappointed that the logistics company didn’t raise its annual forecast.
However aerospace company Boeing continued to soar. It rose $5.34, or 2.3 percent, to $238.79. Boeing jumped almost 10 percent Wednesday after a strong second-quarter report.
ADD A LINE: Verizon Communications is on track for its biggest one-day gain in eight years after it reported more revenue than analysts expected.
Many more new wireless phone customers signed up for Verizon service than Wall Street had forecast. Verizon jumped $3.26, or 7.3 percent, to $47.66.
A day ago, AT&T made its biggest move since 2008 after it reported stronger-than-expected earnings. It rose $1.34, or 3.5 percent, to $39.37 Thursday.
LIKE IT: Facebook rose $4.82, or 2.9 percent, to $170.42 after it reported stronger-than-expected earnings. Its advertising revenue rose by nearly half from a year earlier, and Wall Street was pleased with the company’s spending forecasts.
YIELDS: The 10-year yield rose to 2.31 percent from 2.28 percent late Wednesday. The two-year yield remained at 1.35 percent, and the 30-year yield climbed to 2.93 percent from 2.89 percent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 111.09 Japanese yen from 111.30 yen late Wednesday. The euro dipped to $1.1681 from $1.1725, and the British pound fell to $1.3070 from $1.3100.
COMMODITIES: The price of oil climbed again, but the pace slowed from its torrid run earlier in the week. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 29 cents to settle at$49.04. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 52 cents to $51.49 a barrel.
Natural gas rose 5 cents to $2.97 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil gained nearly a penny to $1.60 per gallon and wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $1.65 per gallon.
Gold rose $10.60 to $1,260.00 per ounce, silver gained 11 cents to $16.57 an ounce and copper rose nearly a penny to $2.88 a pound.
AROUND THE WORLD: France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.1 percent, Germany’s DAX fell 0.8 percent and the FTSE 100 in London dropped 0.1 percent. The Japanese Nikkei 225 index up 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.7 percent and the Kospi in South Korea added 0.4 percent.