Stocks fall on earn­ings from Dis­ney, oth­ers

Los Angeles Times - - COMPANY TOWN -

U.S. stocks closed slightly lower Wed­nes­day, af­ter be­ing down fur­ther ear­lier in the day fol­low­ing a rare batch of earn­ings dis­ap­point­ments by Walt Dis­ney Co. and other big com­pa­nies.

Con­sumer-fo­cused firms, me­dia com­pa­nies and banks ac­counted for much of the mar­ket de­cline. They out­weighed gains in health­care stocks and else­where. Small-com­pany stocks fell more than the rest of the mar­ket.

In­vestors’ un­ease over es­ca­lat­ing ten­sions be­tween the U.S. and North Korea weighed on stocks early in the ses­sion, push­ing gold and bond prices slightly higher. But by the end of the day, traders ap­peared to take the geopo­lit­i­cal drama in stride.

Gold rose $16.70, or 1.3%, to $1,279.30 an ounce.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note slipped to 2.25% from 2.26%.

Although the tough talk about the po­ten­tial for war is scary, in­vestors have heard it many times be­fore.

“North Korea was fod­der for the overnight trade, and as we headed into to­day we haven’t seen any more saber rat­tling,” said JJ Ki­na­han, chief mar­ket strate­gist at TD Amer­i­trade. “I would ex­pect the mar­kets to re­act again pretty neg­a­tively to any more tough talk from either side, but for now, ev­ery­body seems to have set­tled down.”

Dis­ap­point­ing com­pany earn­ings and out­looks also put traders in a sell­ing mood.

Price­line Group slid 6.9% to $1,906.80 af­ter the on­line travel book­ing ser­vice is­sued a profit fore­cast that was weaker than an­a­lysts ex­pected.

Dis­ney dropped 3.9% to $102.83, its big­gest sin­gle­day loss in more than a year, af­ter the me­dia gi­ant re­ported a weak quar­ter and said it would pull its movies from Net­flix and start two video stream­ing ser­vices of its own. Net­flix fell 1.4% to $175.78.

Shares in sev­eral other big me­dia com­pa­nies also de­clined. Dis­cov­ery Com­mu­ni­ca­tions fell 2.9% to $23.60. Vi­a­com fell 1.9% to $30.17.

Fos­sil tum­bled 25.1% to $8.87 af­ter the watch maker said sales con­tin­ued to weaken, fall­ing short of an­a­lysts’ es­ti­mates. The com­pany booked a hefty charge and said its chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer was leav­ing the com­pany.

Health­care stocks, which have been in a slump, posted gains. Hu­mana rose 1.9% to $254.96.

Green Dot jumped 13.8% to $45.92 af­ter the pre­paid debit card firm raised its profit and rev­enue fore­casts and gave more de­tails about its part­ner­ship with Ap­ple.

Bench­mark U.S. crude rose 39 cents to set­tle at $49.56 a bar­rel. Brent crude, used to price in­ter­na­tional oils, rose 56 cents to $52.70. Whole­sale gaso­line was lit­tle changed at $1.62 a gal­lon, heat­ing oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gal­lon, and nat­u­ral gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cu­bic feet.

Sil­ver rose 47 cents, or 2.9%, to $16.86 an ounce. Cop­per fell 2 cents to $2.93 a pound.

The dol­lar fell to 109.85 yen from 110.48 yen. The euro held steady at $1.1752.

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