The Herald Bulletin

July 26, 2013

US stocks head for first weekly loss in July


The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Weak earnings from several U.S. companies helped drag the stock market lower Friday, putting major indexes on course for their first weekly loss this month.

Expedia plunged 26 percent, the worst fall in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. The online travel agency reported earnings late Thursday that badly missed analysts' expectations. Higher costs were the main culprit. Expedia lost $16.71 to $48.30.

An hour after the opening bell, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was down six points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,683. Nine of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 fell.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 95 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,459. The Nasdaq composite fell 14 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,591.

The stock market hasn't ended the week with a loss since June 21, when speculation that the Federal Reserve would start easing off its support for the economy rattled financial markets.

Starbucks posted results late Thursday that beat analysts' estimates. Lower costs for coffee beans and better sales of salads and sandwiches helped. Starbucks jumped $5.19, or 8 percent, to $73.36.

It's nearly halftime in the second-quarter earnings season, and corporate profits are shaping up better than some had feared.

Analysts forecast that earnings for companies in the S&P 500 increased 4.5 percent over the same period in 2012, according to S&P Capital IQ. At the start of July, they predicted earnings would rise 2.8 percent. Nearly seven out of every 10 companies have surpassed Wall Street's profit targets.

In the market for U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.57 percent from 2.48 percent late Thursday.

Long-term interest rates have moved in a wide range since early May, largely a result of traders speculating over when the Fed will begin pulling back on its bond-buying program. The yield hit a recent low of 1.63 percent on May 1, and went as high as 2.74 percent July 5.