Procter & Gamble drags on Wall Street in flat day

US stocks slipped yesterday as Dow component Procter & Gamble’s lacklustre results, coupled with weaker-than-estimated data on consumer spending and housing, prompted investors to exercise caution a day after the market’s two per cent rally.

P&G dropped 3.4 per cent to $59.94, ranking as the top drag on the Dow industrials after the consumer goods maker reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed expectations.

“After a nice little rally, it’s probably a little bit of a pause,” said Tommy Huie, president of Marshall Funds in Milwaukee.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 38.00 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 10,636.38. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index shed 5.40 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 1,120.46. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 11.84 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 2,283.52.

An index of pending home sales slid to a record low in June while consumer spending and personal incomes were flat. But losses were curbed by Dow component Pfizer, up 5.6 per cent to $16.34.