Stocks suffer from euro fear on Wall Street

US STOCKS fell for a second straight session yesterday, as Spain appeared closer to needing a national bailout and poor corporate results weighed on the market.

Weak results from McDonald’s added to the cautious tone on Wall Street. Materials stocks were among the day’s weakest, hurt by across-the-board declines in commodities prices.

Still, stocks ended well off the day’s lows, rebounding from their initial plunge.

Overall, three stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, a signal that the afternoon rebound was concentrated among larger-cap shares. On the Nasdaq, about four stocks fell for every one that rose.

McDonald’s was the latest earnings casualty among large multinational companies after posting a lower-than-expected profit, citing a slower global economy and a stronger dollar. McDonald’s stock slid 2.9 per cent as the biggest drag on the Dow. Shares of Wendy’s fell 2.4 per cent.

With 23 per cent of S&P 500 companies having reported results, 67.5 per cent have posted earnings above expectations, although many analysts have cut their forecasts in recent weeks, allowing for easier beats. Over the past four quarters, 68 per cent of companies beat estimates.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 101.11 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 12,721.46 at the close. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 12.14 points, or 0.89 per cent, to 1,350.52. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 35.15 points, or 1.2 per cent, to close at 2,890.15.