* GE falls as quarterly profit slides nearly 60 pct
* S&P, Nasdaq on track to close higher for third straight
* Visa, Honeywell rise on forecast raise
* Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet results awaited next week
* Indexes down: Dow 0.34 pct, S&P 0.24 pct, Nasdaq 0.18 pct
(Adds details, comment and updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
July 21 (Reuters) – U.S. stock indexes were lower in late
morning trading and pulled back from record levels as weak
earnings from industrial heavyweight General Electric weighed.
Shares of GE fell as much as 5.4 percent to their
lowest level since Oct 2015, as the company reported a nearly 60
percent slump in profit and its 2017 profit forecast came in at
the low end.
The stock’s fall weighed on other industrials such as
Caterpillar and 3M.
“We’ve had a good run for the last few weeks and investors
are primarily digesting earnings today,” said Erick Ormsby,
chief executive of Alcosta Capital Management.
“GE’s results were okay but they guided lower and that’s
weighing on the market too.”
Microsoft fell 0.3 percent, despite the company
reporting strong fourth-quarter earnings.
Attention will turn to earnings from big tech names next
week, including Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook
The Nasdaq came off its 10-day streak of gains, its best
since February 2015, after closing at record levels on Thursday.
The tech sector, however, continues to be the best
performing S&P sector this year, despite concerns over stretched
valuation, as investors look for growth from sectors relatively
immune to a policy gridlock in Washington.
“If tech earnings were to disappoint, it might finally be
the thing that causes a correction, even if it’s a small one,”
said J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.
Still, overall earnings are expected to be good with
analysts expecting earnings to have climbed 8.6 percent, above
the 8-percent rise projected at the start of the month,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
At 10:50 a.m. ET (1650 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was down 72.93 points, or 0.34 percent, at
21,538.85, the S&P 500 was down 6.03 points, or 0.24
percent, at 2,467.42.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 11.80 points, or 0.18
percent, at 6,378.20.
The S&P and the Nasdaq are on track to close higher for the
third straight week.
All 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the industrials
and energy sectors leading the decliners.
Oil prices fell more than 1.5 percent after a consultancy
report forecast a rise in OPEC production for July despite the
group’s pledge to curb output.
Visa rose 1.7 percent after the world’s largest
payments network operator raised its annual earnings forecast.
EBay fell 2.8 percent as the company warned that
adjusted profit this quarter could fall below analysts’
Honeywell International rose 1.7 percent after the
technology and manufacturing company raised the low-end of its
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,635
to 1,059. On the Nasdaq, 1,464 issues fell and 1,164 advanced.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Arun Koyyur)