Flat Coca-Cola figures snap S&P’s bull run

THE S&P 500 snapped its eight-day winning streak yesterday after disappointing sales from Coca-Cola, while investors turned cautious on the day before the Federal Reserve chairman’s congressional testimony.

The market’s pullback came a day after both the Dow and the S&P 500 ended at record closing highs for the third consecutive session.

Yesterday’s volume was below average at 5.5bn shares traded on exchanges, but above Monday’s 4.91bn, which was the lightest of any full trading day this year.

Eight of the 10 S&P 500 industry sector indexes declined, with materials shares among the day’s worst performers.

Coca-Cola was the biggest drag in terms of points on the S&P 500 after the world’s largest soft drinks maker reported weaker-than-expected second-quarter sales, which it blamed on economic malaise and unusually cold and wet weather. The stock – the Dow’s biggest percentage loser – fell 1.9 per cent to $40.23.

Investors are eager to hear Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony about monetary policy today before the House Financial Services Committee. His comments will be closely analysed for signs of when the central bank may start reducing its stimulus efforts.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 32.41 points, or 0.21 per cent, to end at 15,451.85. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 6.24 points, or 0.37 per cent, to finish at 1,676.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 8.99 points, or 0.25 per cent, to close at 3,598.50.