Wall Street Ticks Lower as Intel Tumbles

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Backing away from five-year highs, stocks logged slight losses Friday afternoon as Intel weighs on tech stocks and traders mull a new report showing U.S. consumer sentiment fell to 13-month lows.

Today's Markets

As of 12:34 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 16.24 points, or 0.12%, to 13580.62, the S&P 500 dropped 3.72 points, or 0.25%, to 1477.25 and the Nasdaq Composite slumped 15.05 points, or 0.48%, to 3120.96.

The markets posted solid gains on Thursday, driven by a round of better-than-expected data on the U.S. labor and housing markets. If the upbeat sentiment continues, the Dow could close the week out at levels not seen since before the financial crisis in 2007.

Wall Street initially had little response to Friday's lone economic report, which showed that U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly fell in the beginning of January, perhaps in response to increased payroll taxes that sapped income at the beginning of the year.

The University of Michigan/Reuters preliminary January survey revealed U.S. consumer sentiment dropped to 71.3, down from 72.9 in December and well below forecasts from economists for a rise to 75.0. It also marked the lowest reading since December 2011.

Meanwhile, market participants were also paying close attention to corporate news as earnings season picks up steam.

The Nasdaq Composite posted steady losses as Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) tumbled 7% a day after reporting a beat on the bottom line, but slightly trailed estimates on the top line.

In addition to a deeper-than-expected 3% drop in revenue, Intel projected first-quarter sales that could miss forecasts. Other chip makers were also under selling pressure, including Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA).

Likewise, American Express (NYSE:AXP) dropped almost 3% after reporting mostly in-line results.

On the other hand, blue-chip conglomerate General Electric (NYSE:GE) and financial giant Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) rallied after revealing beats on their revenues and profits.

The energy complex has been in focus as well, getting a boost on Thursday from worries about the security of supplies from North Africa sparked by the hostage situation in Algeria.

Futures cooled off mildly on Friday. The benchmark crude contract dipped 38 cents, or 0.40%, to $95.56 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline fell 0.42% to $2.757 a gallon.

In metals, gold slipped $3.00, or 0.18%, to $1,687.80 a troy ounce.

Corporate Movers

Capital One (NYSE:COF) tumbled 8% as the financial-services company was hit by a slew of price targets and a downgrade from analysts after reporting disappointing fourth-quarter earnings.

Sony (NYSE:SNE) rallied after revealing the sale of its U.S. headquarters in Manhattan for $1.1 billion. Sony sees a $685 million gain thanks to the move.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.31% to 2710.93, the English FTSE 100 rose 0.48% to 6160.77 and the German DAX slipped 0.29% to 7714.19.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 soared 2.9% to 10913 and the Chinese Hang Seng rallied 1.1% to 23602.