"The primary focus, in our opinion, will be on whether Q3 results will indeed be the trough in this earnings cycle and if forward quarters will exhibit a gradual acceleration in growth," said Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at
S&P Capital IQ
. "The bar has been set so low for third-quarter S&P 500 earnings per share growth that some would say it is 'underground.'"
The FTSE 100 in London closed down 0.19% and the DAX in Germany finished down 0.28% on Tuesday. The Nikkei Average in Japan closed down 0.12% amid concerns over the outlook for corporate earnings. Hong Kong's market was closed for a public holiday.
November crude oil futures fell 59 cents to settle at $91.89 a barrel. December gold futures closed down $7.70 at $1,775.60 an ounce.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 1/32, diluting the yield to 1.626%. The greenback lost 0.09%, according to the
In corporate news,
shares tumbled 3.9% after the fertilizer company reported a fiscal first-quarter net income that declined 18%, with results coming in below expectations, weighed down by production issues that hurt sales volumes and weaker prices for its phosphate fertilizer.
said its September U.S. sales fell 0.1%; analysts were expecting an increase of 0.7%. Shares skidded 1.4%.
(GM - Get Report)
reported that its September U.S. sales rose 1.5%, a bit below the 1.9% increase expected by analysts.
On the same day, in an appearance at the Value Investing Congress, Greenlight Capital's head honcho David Einhorn discussed the benefits of a
long investment thesis
on GM, which he believes could earn as much as $6 per share in 2014. GM shares finished up 2.6%.
(ARQL - Get Report)
shares plummeted 56.3% after the cancer therapeutics company announced that it will stop its clinical trials on a lung-cancer drug after it was deemed to be ineffective in meeting targets on improving patient survival.
, the pet products retailer, was named to join the
, which is being acquired by
Energy Transfer Partners
. PetSmart shares rose 1.5%.
--Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York.
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