Stocks Tumble After Weak Earnings as Tech, Industrials Sink

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(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

U.S. stocks are falling Wednesday as technology companies, banks and industrial firms take sharp losses. Weak third-quarter reports are affecting companies including AT&T and 7UP maker Dr Pepper Snapple Group, while high-dividend stocks are falling as bond yields climb higher. All 11 sectors of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index are down.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index shed 15 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,553 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 100 points, or 0.4 percent, to 23,340. The Nasdaq composite sank 57 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,540. The Russell 2000 index, which is comprised of smaller-company stocks, dropped 13 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,487.

POWER DOWN: Media and marketing information company Nielsen Holdings dropped $2.12, or 5.2 percent, to $39.01, after it reported weak results in the U.S. Norfolk Southern slid $4.51, or 3.4 percent, to $127.80, even though its results were better than analysts expected. Alaska Air gave up $5.31, or 6.7 percent, to $74.08.

Defense contractor General Dynamics lost $3.64, or 1.7 percent, to $208.44. The company’s technology and marine systems businesses reported lower sales compared to a year ago, and its revenue fell far short of estimates. Boeing had a solid quarter and raised its forecasts, but the stock — which has almost doubled in value in the last 12 months — fell $5.95, or 2.2 percent, to $260.05. General Electric declined for the third day in a row and is trading at its lowest price in more than four years as it lost 34 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $21.55.

TECH IN TURMOIL: Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices dropped $1.55, or 10.9 percent, to $12.70 after investors didn’t like the look of its fourth-quarter forecasts. Network equipment maker Juniper Networks also issued a disappointing forecast, and its stock lost $1.62, or 6.2 percent, to $24.54. Elsewhere, IBM declined $2.06, or 1.3 percent, to $153.82; and chipmaker Nvidia slid $4.20, or 2.1 percent, to $194.48.

BONDS: Bond prices fell again. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.44 percent from 2.42 percent. That’s its highest level since March, and it put pressure on companies that pay large dividends. Those stocks tend to do better when bond yields weaken, as the reduced yields make them more attractive to investors who are looking for income.

BUSY SIGNAL: Stocks that pay large dividends were hurt by a double-whammy of weak earnings and falling bond yields.

AT&T lost $1.14, or 3.3 percent, to $33.72 after it reported a smaller profit and less revenue than Wall Street expected in the third quarter, and Verizon Communications gave up 31 cents to $48.63. Among utilities, NextEra Energy lost $1.51, or 1 percent, to $152.71; and DTE Energy sank $2.60, or 2.3 percent, to $110.10. Dominion Energy gave up $1.11, or 1.4 percent, to $79.24.

THIRSTY: Dr. Pepper Snapple tumbled $4.89, or 5.5 percent, to $84.82. The 7Up maker’s profit and sales were weaker than expected. It cut its profit forecast for the year because of higher costs as well as expenses from its purchase of energy drink maker Bai Brands. Dr. Pepper Snapple also said that hurricanes Harvey and Irma affected its business in the third quarter.

Competitor PepsiCo lost $1.21, or 1.1 percent, to $109.54. Coca-Cola did well in its latest quarter, but lost 12 cents to $46.06.

MELTED QUESO: Chipotle Mexican Grill disclosed disappointing third-quarter results as food safety scares continued to affect its business. The Mexican food chain introduced a new queso cheese dip in its latest effort to win back customers, but the effects of a 2015 E. coli outbreak and other problems still haven’t dissipated. The stock plunged $48.18, or 14.9 percent, to $276.12.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 32 cents to $52.15 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 16 cents to $58.17 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.72 yen from 113.58 yen. The euro edged up to $1.1808 from $1.1788. The British pound rose to $1.3254 from $1.3136.

OVERSEAS: Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.5 percent as investors felt that a stronger-than-expected report on economic growth makes it more likely the Bank of England will raise interest rates next month. France’s CAC 40 added 0.1 percent, and the DAX in Germany edged 0.1 percent lower.

The Nikkei 225 index fell 0.5 percent as a 16-day winning streak for Japanese stocks came to an end. The index rose 7.2 percent in its longest winning streak since World War II. The South Korean Kospi added 0.1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.5 percent.