* 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
* Indexes down: Dow 0.15 pct, S&P 0.04 pct, Nasdaq 0.04 pct
(Updates prices, changes comment, byline)
By Kimberly Chin
NEW YORK, July 21 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks ticked lower on
Friday as weak earnings from industrial giant General Electric
weighed, while tech shares retreated from record highs and
energy tracked the price of oil lower.
GE shares fell 2.9 percent to $25.91 and hit their
lowest level since October 2015. The company reported a nearly
60 percent slump in profit and said its full year profit and
cash flow will be at the low end of its forecasts.
Peers in the industrial sector, such as
Caterpillar and 3M, also fell.
But Honeywell touched a record high and ended up 1.0
percent at $136.35 after it raised the low-end of its profit
“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.”
The S&P 500 energy sector fell more than 1 percent
as oil prices lost nearly 3 percent, after a consultancy report
forecast a rise in OPEC production for July despite the cartel’s
pledge to curb output.
The S&P 500 technology sector slipped after
posting two consecutive record closing highs. The Nasdaq
Composite was on track to cap a 10-day streak of gains, its best
since February 2015, after closing at a record high on Thursday.
Tech continues to be the best performing S&P sector this
year despite concerns over stretched valuations.
Microsoft shares fell 0.6 to $73.79 despite a
strong earnings beat after the bell Thursday, propped in large
part by its fast-growing cloud computing business.
Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to have climbed 9.6 percent
year-over-year, above the 8-percent rise projected at the start
of the month, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 31.71 points,
or 0.15 percent, to 21,580.07, the S&P 500 lost 0.91
points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,472.54 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 2.25 points, or 0.04 percent, to 6,387.75.
The S&P and the Nasdaq rose for a third straight week.
Capital One reported a profit beat, helped by growth
in card loans and net interest income. Its shares rose 8.6 to
$87.94, it’s biggest daily percentage gain in eight years.
Visa rose 1.5 percent to $99.60. The world’s largest
payments network operator raised its annual earnings forecast.
“What’s important is the directionality of earnings, and
earnings are going up. We’ve transitioned from a interest
rate-driven secular bull market to an earnings-driven secular
bull market,” said Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at
Raymond James Financial in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a
1.09-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.46-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
About 5.73 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges,
below the 6.31 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.
(Reporting by Kimberly Chin and Rodrigo Campos in New York;
Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by