Investors sent stocks falling in early trading yesterday after disappointing earnings from Citigroup raised questions about other companies'...
NEW YORK — Investors sent stocks falling in early trading yesterday after disappointing earnings from Citigroup raised questions about other companies’ second-quarter results.
With two big weeks of earnings reports ahead, Citigroup’s earnings, which fell below Wall Street’s expectations, unsettled investors and motivated some to collect profits from the market’s big advance last week.
Traders were also waiting for Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to deliver his much-anticipated semiannual testimony on monetary policy before Congress tomorrow and Thursday. Analysts expect Greenspan will stress that the economy continues to show solid gains and inflation remains subdued. He is not expected to hint that interest-rate increases will pause.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 65.84, or 0.62 percent, to 10,574.99. Among Northwest stocks, Boeing dropped 1 cent to close at $64.74. Microsoft was down 24 cents to close at $25.55 but rose 12 cents in after-hour sales to $25.67.
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Broader stock indicators also dropped. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 6.79, or 0.55 percent, to 1,221.13, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 11.91, or 0.6 percent, to 2,144.87.
The price of oil fell $1 a barrel in morning trading after OPEC lowered its 2005 global-demand forecast. A barrel of light, sweet crude oil settled at $57.32, down 77 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Citigroup fell $1.42 to $45. Its disappointing earnings contrasted with those of Bank of America Corp., which released results that beat analysts’ expectations by 5 cents a share. But Bank of America fell 90 cents to $45.08 as investors focused on declining profit margins from the company’s loans.
Charles Schwab’s second-quarter profit surged 65 percent as higher money-management fees and lower expenses enabled the discount stock brokerage to offset a continuing decline in trading revenue. Schwab rose 21 cents to $12.95.
Publisher Scholastic said it sold about 9 million copies of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” in the first 24 hours of sales. Scholastic rose 28 cents to $37.34.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 5.18, or 0.78 percent, to 658.56.