As earn­ings fiz­zle, stocks slip

The Washington Post Sunday - - MARKETS -

Eq­uity in­vestors had a chance to grab onto some­thing other than Greece this week, and the re­sult wasn’t pretty. A nascent rally tied to earn­ings dis­ap­peared as blue-chip com­pa­nies bore the brunt of selling that drove the Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age down the most since Jan­uary. Energy and raw-ma­te­rial stock­swere driven lower by a global rout in com­modi­ties.

Stocks world wide tum­bled 2.1 per­cent, with the MSCI All-Coun­try World In­dex post­ing its worst week of the year. The Dow dropped 2.9per­cent to 17,568.53. The Stan­dard& Poor’s 500-stock in­dex slid 2.2 per­cent.

The week brought a change of pace for U.S. in­vestors, who chased de­vel­op­ments in debt ne­go­ti­a­tions in Greece and volatil­ity in Chi­nese eq­ui­ties ear­lier this month. The fo­cus has since switched to­ward cor­po­rate earn­ings and a com­mod­ity col­lapse span­ning from gold to oil, which showed no signs of slow­ing down.

Com­pa­nies from Ap­ple to IBM and Mi­crosoft dis­ap­pointed in­vestors. In the com­ing week, 172 com­pa­nies in the S&P 500 are slated to re­port quar­terly re­sults.

The U.S. Trea­sury will sell $24 bil­lion in three-month bills and $24 bil­lion in six­month bills Mon­day. They yielded 0.035 per­cent and 0.135 per­cent in when-is­sued trad­ing. It will also sell four-week bills and $26 bil­lion in two-year notes Tues­day, $15 bil­lion in two-year float­ing rate notes and $35 bil­lion in five-year notes Wed­nes­day, and $29 bil­lion in seven-year notes Thurs­day.

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