Stocks Slip on 3Q Earnings Results


U.S. stocks slipped from two-week highs on Tuesday as results and outlooks from companies in various sectors, including housing and consumer products, failed to live up to expectations.

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Whirlpool cited soft demand as it posted lower-than- expected earnings and gave an underwhelming guidance, while Sherwin Williams' outlook was also a disappointment for Wall Street, an indication to some analysts that the housing sector may be cooling.

"Lackluster results from Whirlpool and Sherwin Williams may indicate a slowing in the housing cycle," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

She said those results could be weighing on Home Depot , which was down 3.3 percent at $123.60 as the largest points decliner on the S&P 500.

3M fell 3 percent to $166.14 after the maker of Scotch tape and Post-it notes trimmed its full-year revenue and earnings forecasts for the second time.

But overall, annualized third-quarter earnings from S&P 500 companies are expected to have risen 1.7 percent, effectively putting an end to an earnings recession, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Of the 150 companies that have reported so far, 75.3 percent have beaten analyst expectations, above the long-term average of 63.5 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was off 45.71 points, or 0.25 percent, to 18,177.32, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 7.49 points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,143.84 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 28.13 points, or 0.53 percent, to 5,281.70.

Caterpillar slipped 1.7 percent after giving a downbeat forecast, while General Motors fell 4.3 percent amid fears regarding future profits.

Consumer products company Procter & Gamble rose 3.9 percent to $87.35 after reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit, while sportswear maker Under Armour fell 13.1 percent to $32.94 after it reported its slowest quarterly sales growth in six years.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.51-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.16-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and 8 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 57 new highs and 71 new lows.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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