Wall St slips as traders look to earnings’ data - New York Report

US SHARES yesterday fell in choppy trading, with traders nervously eyeing the start of earnings season, while the S&P 500 failed to remain above a key technical level.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 17.78 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 16,991.91, the S&P 500 lost 3.08 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 1,964.82 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 20.82 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 4,454.80.

Hewlett-Packard posted the S&P 500’s biggest gains, up 4.7 per cent to $36.87, after it said it would split into two listed companies and eliminate another 5,000 jobs.

But GT Advanced Technologies, Apple’s partner in a sapphire glass plant in Arizona, said it had filed for voluntary bankruptcy protection and its shares tumbled 92.8 per cent to 80 cents.

Micron shares fell four per cent to $32.57 after Samsung unveiled plans to spend $14.7bn on a new semiconductor facility.

The largest percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange was CareFusion, up 22.9 per cent after medical equipment supplier Becton Dickinson agreed to buy it for $12.2bn in cash and stock.

Nasdaq’s top mover was also related to an acquisition, with Durata Therapeutics up 74.6 per cent to $24.24. Actavis said it would buy Durata for about $675m.

Among the most active stocks on the NYSE were Petrobras, up 14.24 per cent to $15.96 and Bank of America, up 0.06 per cent to $17.30.

On the Nasdaq, Sunesis Pharmaceuticals was down 76.4 per cent to $1.57.

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