U.S. Stocks Down Following Disappointing Earnings Results

By Michael Wursthorn and Justin Yang Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. stocks retreated broadly Thursday, with retail and technology companies suffering some of the biggest losses.

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All 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down in recent trading, as were the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500.

The Dow industrials declined 179 points, or 0.8%, to 21846, while the S&P 500 shed 1%. The Nasdaq Composite was down 1.3%.

Wall Street's "fear gauge," the CBOE Volatility Index, jumped 23%.

Major U.S. stock indexes were on track for their biggest declines since last Thursday, when a spate of weak earnings and tensions with North Korea roiled markets around the world.

A day after some retailers helped U.S. stocks bounce back, brick-and-mortar stores were once again contributing to broader market declines.

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Victoria's Secret parent L Brands was one of the worst-performing stocks in the S&P 500, falling 6% after the company cut its forecast for the remainder of the year. Big-box retailer Wal-Mart Stores declined nearly 2% after the company reported lower profit on higher same-store sales.

Mark Stoeckle, chief executive and senior portfolio manager of Adams Funds, said his firm owns shares of the retailer and believes its sales growth amid the industry's broader struggles makes it attractive.

The pullback "could be a good opportunity for people who don't own Wal-Mart," said Mr. Stoeckle.

His firm also weighed adding to its Cisco Systems position in a meeting Thursday morning, but executives felt it was competing against companies that showed better growth, he said. "Doing OK in an environment where you got too many opportunities isn't good enough," Mr. Stoeckle added.

Shares of Cisco shed 4.3% after the company said revenue fell last quarter.

NetApp fell roughly 6% after the company issued sales guidance that fell on the low end of analyst projections, even though it beat quarterly earnings expectations.

When shares fall after companies top projections, that could suggest some pockets of the market have reached a peak, some investors said.

"When good news isn't rewarded, that tends to give you pause," said Michael Scanlon, a portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management.

As U.S. stocks retreated, investments considered to be relatively safe stores of value, such as U.S. Treasurys and gold, were up.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.203%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.224% Wednesday. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

Gold for August delivery gained 0.7%, to $1,286.40 an ounce.

Elsewhere around the world, stocks were mixed following the release of central-bank minutes in the U.S. and Europe.

The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.6% after a brief upward swing.

Minutes from the European Central Bank's latest meeting suggested the central bank is wary of pulling back too soon on its large bond-buying program, especially as inflation isn't yet at its target.

The Federal Reserve minutes, released Wednesday, showed disagreement over the timeline for future interest-rate increases in the U.S.

An earlier decline in the dollar pressured stocks in Japan, with the Nikkei Stock Average falling 0.1%.

Write to Michael Wursthorn at Michael.Wursthorn@wsj.com and Justin Yang at Justin.Yang@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 17, 2017 15:13 ET (19:13 GMT)