U.S. stock in­dexes head lower

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Alex Veiga

A batch of dis­ap­point­ing com­pany earn­ings news helped put in­vestors in a sell­ing mood Tues­day, pulling U.S. stocks sharply lower.

Health care com­pa­nies led the broad mar­ket slide, which more than wiped out gains from the day be­fore. Ma­te­ri­als, util­i­ties and tech­nol­ogy stocks were among the big de­clin­ers. En­ergy stocks also closed lower as crude oil prices de­clined.

Sev­eral com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Al­coa, re­ported quar­terly re­sults that fell short of Wall Street’s ex­pec­ta­tions. While in­vestors will get to size up earn­ings from many more com­pa­nies in com­ing weeks, the down­beat start to the third-quar­ter earn­ings sea­son weighed on the mar­ket, said JJ Ki­na­han, chief strate­gist at TD Amer­i­trade.

“It’s just a bad tone to get us started,” Ki­na­han said. “We’ve also been in a re­ally low-volatil­ity en­vi­ron­ment. This is the first day we’ve seen some heav­ier trade in a while.”

The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age fell 200.38 points, or 1.1 per­cent, to 18,128.66. Ear­lier, the av­er­age was down as much as 267 points. The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex lost 26.93 points, or 1.2 per­cent, to 2,136.73. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite in­dex slid 81.89 points, or 1.5 per­cent, to 5,246.79.

In­dexes headed lower from the start of trad­ing Tues­day and never got out of the red. Traders ham­mered shares in Al­coa and ge­net­ics re­search com­pany Il­lu­mina after the com­pa­nies re­ported re­sults that fell short of fi­nan­cial an­a­lysts’ fore­casts.

Al­coa, which is due to split into two com­pa­nies on Nov. 1, slid $3.60, or 11.4 per­cent, to $27.91. Il­lu­mina sank $45.86, or 24.8 per­cent, to $138.99.

Fas­te­nal also de­liv­ered quar­terly re­sults that failed to im­press in­vestors. The maker of in­dus­trial and con­struc­tion fas­ten­ers fell $2.16, or 5.1 per­cent, to $39.96.

Traders also sold shares in St. Jude Med­i­cal after the med­i­cal de­vice maker warned that the lithium bat­tery in some of its im­planted heart de­vices may run out of en­ergy pre­ma­turely. The stock lost $2.87, or 3.5 per­cent, to $78.41. Shares in Ab­bott Lab­o­ra­to­ries, which in April agreed to buy St. Jude for $25 bil­lion, also fell. Ab­bott slid $2.34, or 5.4 per­cent, to $41.16.

Some com­pa­nies ben­e­fited from oth­ers’ bad news.

Ap­ple was got a slight boost after ri­val Sam­sung an­nounced it was dis­con­tin­u­ing its Galaxy Note 7 phone per­ma­nently be­cause of over­heat­ing hand­sets. The Galaxy Note 7 com­peted with Ap­ple’s iPhone. Ap­ple gained 25 cents to $116.30.

Crude oil prices fell a day after spik­ing to their high­est level in a year, a move that dis­ap­pointed some in­vestors.

“Many peo­ple thought crude would use its mo­men­tum to make a run at its re­cent highs and it com­pletely faded,” Ki­na­han said.

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