US stocks slump on gloomy J&J results

US stocks weakened yesterday as disappointing sales from <strong>Johnson &amp; Johnson</strong> stirred jitters about the strength of earnings, snapping the S&amp;P 500&rsquo;s six-day winning streak.<br /><br />With the last two earnings periods characterised by cost cutting, investors have been hopeful that companies may start to show revenue growth in third-quarter results or improved outlooks.<br /><br />Though investors remain optimistic about the earnings season, the hope for strong revenue could be premature. Indeed, Johnson &amp; Johnson beat Wall Street&rsquo;s earnings expectations, but repored revenue that was below forecasts, sending its shares down 2.4 per cent to $61.01. <br /><br />But after-hours results from Intel&nbsp; could bode well for today&rsquo;s session after the chip maker reported earnings and revenue that surpassed expectations.<br /><br />&ldquo;People are on the edge of their seats,&rdquo; said Ronald Knipping, managing principal at the wealth management division of Rehmann.<br /><br />&ldquo;The leading indicator is going to be revenue growth, and right now there&rsquo;s none.&rdquo;<br /><br />Financial shares were pressured, with several major banks reporting results this week. <strong>Goldman Sachs&nbsp;</strong> fell 1.5 per cent to $187.23 after after its stock was downgraded.<br /><br />The Dow Jones industrial average declined 14.74 points, or 0.15 per cent, to end at 9,871.06. The Standard &amp; Poor&rsquo;s 500 Index slipped 3.00 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 1,073.19. But the Nasdaq Composite Index inched up just 0.75 of a point, or 0.04 per cent, to 2,139.89.30.<br /><br />The Nasdaq stayed above water after <strong>Cisco Systems</strong> agreed to buy <strong>Starent Networks</strong> for $2.9bn, or $35 per share. Cisco&rsquo;s stock added 0.5 per cent to $23.89, while Starent, which makes telecommunications equipment, surged 16.8 per cent to $33.91. <br /><br /><strong>Intel</strong> also forecast revenue for the current quarter that was ahead of Wall Street&rsquo;s targets on recovering demand for personal computers.<br /><br />Stock index futures jumped following the results, while Intel shot up 5.2 per cent to $21.56 in extended trade.<br /><br />Healthcare stocks slid during the session after a key Senate committee endorsed a healthcare overhaul