US flat as macro fears offset by strong earnings

THE Dow industrials and the S&P 500 ended flat yesterday after a late-day bounce, as worries about slower global growth hitting corporate sales were offset by earnings that beat expectations.

Technology shares led the day’s gains and pushed the Nasdaq up 0.4 per cent, as shares of Apple jumped four per cent to $634.03. Apple is scheduled to report results tomorrow.

Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar became the latest to exceed expectations on the bottom line but fall short of revenue forecasts on the top line. The stock fell early, but ended up 1.5 per cent at $85.08.

Earnings have generally been beating lowered expectations, but revenues are weak and profit warnings remain frequent.

Of the 123 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far, 60.2 per cent have topped analysts’ expectations for earnings, but 61 per cent have missed revenue forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters data. Third-quarter earnings are expected to fall 2.4 per cent from a year ago.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 2.38 points, or 0.02 per cent, to close at 13,345.89. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index inched up just 0.63 of a point, or 0.04 per cent, to 1,433.82. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 11.33 points, or 0.38 per cent, to close at 3,016.96.

After the bell, shares of Yahoo gained 4.2 per cent to $16.43 after the Internet company’s quarterly earnings beat expectations. Shares of Texas Instruments dipped 0.04 percent to $27.78 after the bell.

The US chipmaker posted a decline in revenue and forecast more weakness.