New York Report: Weak results drag the Dow from its record

US STOCKS mostly retreated yesterday as losses in utility and commodity shares more than offset gains in the tech sector on Apple’s solid earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended slightly lower on the day after closing at a record high. Caterpillar and AT&T dragged on the Dow following weak results on a day when earnings were mixed, with better-than-expected news from Boeing. But blue-chip Boeing’s stock also ended the day lower.

The benchmark S&P 500 logged its first back-to-back declines in a month. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 closed slightly lower after setting a record intraday high of 1,698.78.

The tech-driven Nasdaq barely finished in positive territory, eking out a gain of less than a point despite a 5.1 per cent jump in shares of Apple.

Peter Jankovskis of OakBrook Investments LLC in Illinois said investors are in a “wait-and-watch” phase as earnings come out.

“They gave us a lift during the first half of the month, and they’re now having a difficult time sustaining that momentum,” he said. “I think the pop that we're going to get out of earnings has already occurred.”

Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 25.50 points, or 0.16 per cent, to end at 15,542.24 – a day after closing at a record 15,567.74. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 6.45 points, or 0.38 per cent, to finish at 1,685.94.

But the Nasdaq Composite Index inched up 0.33 of a point, or 0.01 per cent, to close at 3,579.60.

Shares of Facebook surged 20.1 per cent in extended-hours trading after the firm’s second quarter revenue increased 53 per cent.