Gillette owner P&G shaves a bit off the Dow - New York Report

WALL STREET ended flat yesterday as investors digested mediocre corporate earnings and new data showed that the economy grew more quickly in the second quarter.

Procter & Gamble, owner of Gillette, Facebook and Whole Foods Market all fell after quarterly reports left investors wanting more.

US economic growth accelerated in the June quarter as solid consumer spending offset a drag from weak business spending on equipment, suggesting steady momentum that could bring the Federal Reserve closer to hiking interest rates this year.

With a mixed bag of corporate earnings over halfway through second-quarter reporting season and a sharp focus on when the Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates from near zero, investors yesterday saw few reasons to pay more for shares.

“We’ve been stuck in a three per cent band since almost the beginning of the year,” said Warren West, principal at Greentree Brokerage Services in Philadelphia.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended 0.03 per cent weaker at 17,745.98, while the S&P 500 was unchanged at 2,108.63. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.33 per cent to 5,128.79.

Six of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, with the utilities index leading gainers, up 0.72 per cent, and the energy index the biggest decliner, down 0.65 per cent.

Yesterday’s GDP report lifted the dollar as some investors bet on a September, rather than December, rate hike.