Slight Decline In Early Trading On Wall Street
By MATTHEW CRAFT
NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Disappointing earnings from a range of companies pushed the stock market lower on Thursday, giving major indexes their third loss this week.
The stock prices of Morgan Stanley, UnitedHealth Group and others sank after they turned in weaker quarterly results. Prices of commodities held steady following a wild couple of days. Government bond yields remained near their lowest point of the year as investors sought safety.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 10.40 points to close at 1,541.61, a decline of 0.7 percent.Compared with the steep drops earlier this week, the losses on Thursday looked tame. The S&P 500 lost 2 percent on Monday, its worst day of the year, when a slowdown in China's economic growth set off a rout in prices for gold, oil and other commodities and pummeled the stocks of companies that make them. After reaching a record high a week ago, the index has now slumped 3 percent. One reason behind the market's sudden turn might simply be that investors wanted to take some of their winnings off the table, said Joseph Tanious, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds. At the start of April, the S&P 500 was already up 10 percent for 2013, more than investors can expect to get in most years. "For a while there, it seemed like all the headlines were 'stock market hits all-time high,'" Tanious said. "When they see things like that, investors get nervous and look for reasons to sell." Profit slipped at Morgan Stanley as the bank made less money from trading bonds and commodities, a common theme for many investment banks this earnings season. Morgan Stanley lost 5 percent to $20.31. UnitedHealth's profit fell short of analysts' estimates, and the country's largest health insurer said it expects federal budget cuts to pressure its earnings this year. Its stock lost 4 percent to $59.69.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV