U.S. Stocks Decline as Investors Watch Corporate Earnings
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), the biggest maker of construction and mining equipment, retreated 1.6 percent after forecasting sales growth that is the slowest in four years. Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU), the largest U.S. coal producer by volume, increased 10 percent as earnings beat analysts’ projections. Ancestry.com Inc. (ACOM) surged 8.1 percent after Permira Advisers LLP agreed to buy the company in a transaction valued at about $1.6 billion.
The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent to 1,431.84 at 9:41 a.m. New York time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 28.21 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,315.30. Trading in S&P 500 companies was 17 percent below the 30-day average at this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“It really comes down to earnings at this point,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer for Oakbrook Investments in Lisle, Illinois, which manages more than $3 billion. He spoke in a telephone interview. “We’ve seen many companies beating earnings estimates. Yet investors are keeping an eye on their ability to grow revenue.”
Earnings at about 69 percent of S&P 500 companies which reported third-quarter results beat analysts estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales missed forecasts at 59 percent of companies, the data showed.