Dow Average Slips Amid Earnings While Nasdaq Gains on Mylan BidOliver Renick
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell as DuPont Co. and Travelers Cos. slumped after reporting results, while a takeover offer for Mylan NV pushed the Nasdaq Composite Index higher.
DuPont tumbled 3 percent after saying the dollar is putting pressure on full-year profit. Travelers tumbled 4 percent as first-quarter profit fell 21 percent. Biotechnology shares rallied as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. proposed to buy Mylan for about $40.1 billion.
The S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent to 2,097.29 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.4 percent, to within 0.7 percent of its all-time high. The Dow fell 85.34 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,949.59.
“Earnings have been a little better than reduced expectations, and with interest rates as low as they are, corporations like Teva are able to continue issuing debt at basically free levels,” Andrew Brenner, the head of international fixed income for National Alliance Capital Markets, said by phone.
The S&P 500 is 1 percent away from a record reached on March 2, the same day the Nasdaq Composite Index topped 5,000 for the first time in 15 years. The S&P 500 climbed 0.9 percent yesterday amid a rally in technology shares, recovering nearly all of Friday’s selloff.
While equity indexes from Asia to Europe have climbed to multiyear highs in the past week, the S&P 500 has struggled to reach its March 2 record amid two drops of more than 2.5 percent. While an energy rally took the gauge to within 10 points of an all-time high Wednesday, it has stalled short of the mark 35 straight days, the longest streak since June 2013.
The S&P 500 fell as much as 3.6 percent through March 11 amid concerns that a stronger dollar and lower oil prices would hurt corporate earnings as the Fed considers raising rates. Signals by central-bank officials that they are in no rush to boost borrowing costs propelled the gauge to within 0.4 percent of its record by March 20, before it retreated again.
The Nasdaq Composite has jumped 5.9 percent this year, coming within 7 points of its all-time high on March 20 as biotechnology and Internet stocks have rallied. The Nasdaq Internet Index has increased for 12 of the past 13 days.
More than 140 S&P 500 companies report earnings this week, including Yahoo! Inc. and Amgen Inc. today. While analysts predict a slump through September, they have moderated how steep that will be.
Yahoo slid 2 percent at 4:25 p.m. in New York, while Amgen added 2.2 percent in late trading after reporting results.
Analysts now forecast first-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies will drop 4.3 percent, better than April 10 estimates for a 5.6 percent decline. Of those that have reported so far, 84 percent beat profit projections and 51 percent topped sales estimates.
“People have gone too far in cutting their profit estimates for U.S. companies,” Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Reyl & Cie. said by phone from Geneva. “This may give the market a short-term rebound as more earnings reports come in. I’m still cautious regarding growth in the next few quarters because of the impact of the economic slowdown and the surging dollar.”
With data due this week on housing and jobs, investors are seeking clues on the economic recovery after reports pointed to weaker growth and the dollar strengthened.
Seven of 10 main groups in the S&P 500 declined, led by energy companies, which lost 1 percent amid a 2 percent slump in crude. Transocean Ltd. slid 5.5 percent and Chesapeake Energy Corp. dropped 4.8 percent.
DuPont lost 3 percent. The company, which is facing a proxy showdown with activist shareholder Trian Fund Management, warned that the stronger dollar is putting pressure on full-year profit as first-quarter sales missed analyst estimates.
Travelers tumbled 4 percent. First-quarter profit fell as investment income declined and the pace slowed for rate increases to commercial clients.
Harley-Davidson Inc. slid 9.8 percent after lowering its growth estimates on motorcycle shipments.
Under Armour Inc. dropped 4.8 percent after forecasting sales for the year that trailed analysts’ estimates as growth in its core apparel business cools off.
Mylan soared 8.9 percent amid the drug industry’s largest takeover attempt this year. A purchase of the company by Teva would create a generic powerhouse with more than $27 billion in revenue and re-establish Teva as the predominant giant in the generic drug industry.
In late trading Perrigo Co. climbed 0.7 percent. The company’s board unanimously rejected an unsolicited bid proposal from Mylan.
Lam Research Corp. jumped 8.1 percent after profit exceeded projections and the company forecast fourth-quarter earnings above analysts’ estimates.
Kimberly-Clark Corp. added 5.4 percent. First-quarter profit topped analysts’ estimates as the maker of Kleenex tissue and Huggies diapers benefited from product innovation and $100 million worth of cost cuts last quarter.