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Stocks fall on Wall Street as earnings start to flow

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 | Damian J. Troise And Alex Veiga, AP Business Writers


In this Nov. 23, 2020 file photo, stone sculptures adorn the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks are easing lower in early trading on Wall Street as investors absorb the latest round of company earnings reports. The S&P 500 was off 0.2% in the first few minutes of trading Tuesday, April 20, 2021, pulling further below the record high it set on Friday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Stocks were down in afternoon trading Tuesday, giving up more of their recent gains as investors weighed the latest batch of company earnings reports for clues about the health of Corporate America.

The S&P 500 index was down 0.9% as of 2:27 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 332 points, or 1% to 33,746 and the technology-heavy Nasdaq slid 1.2% after shedding an early gain.

Bond yields fell and weighed down banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.56% from 1.60%. Bank of America fell 3% and Citigroup dropped 3.7%.

Technology stocks accounted for the biggest share of the decline in stocks, putting more pressure on the broader market. Apple fell 1.7%.

The broader market took a more defensive posture as utilities, real estate stocks and a mix of companies that make consumer staples like food and household products gained ground. General Mills rose 1.5% and Clorox rose 2.8%.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks, which has been outpacing the broader market all year, was taking the brunt of the losses, shedding 2.4%.

The market has been swaying between gains and record highs to pullbacks as investors weigh solid economic growth against the risks still posed by the virus pandemic. That push and pull will likely continue as vaccine distribution rolls on and various industries reopen.

“Overall, we’re going to have some volatility in the market this year, but everything to me looks fairly rosy for the next six months or so,” said Sylvia Jablonski, chief investment officer at Defiance ETFs.

Investors are in the middle of first-quarter earnings season. Roughly 80 members of the S&P 500 will report their results this week, as well as one out of every three members of the Dow. Wall Street will be looking to see if Corporate America is recovering with the rest of the economy from the coronavirus pandemic.

On average, analysts expect quarterly profits across the S&P 500 to be up 24% from a year earlier, according to FactSet.

United Airlines slid 9.4% after reporting a loss that was wider than analysts were expecting, and drugmaker Abbott fell after reporting revenue that fell short of forecasts.

Kansas City Southern jumped 16.4% after another Canadian railway company offered to buy the railroad for $33.7 billion, far higher than a $25 billion offer made by Canadian Pacific last month.

Markets in Europe also fell. Germany's DAX lost 1.6%, France's CAC 40 slid 2.1% and Britain's FTSE 100 gave up 2%.

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Companies Mentioned in This Article

CompanyMarketRank™Current PricePrice ChangeDividend YieldP/E RatioConsensus RatingConsensus Price Target
Kansas City Southern (KSU)1.9$305.80-0.8%0.71%50.55Buy$237.07
Bank of America (BAC)2.4$41.18-0.9%1.75%20.39Buy$37.84
Citigroup (C)2.7$74.23-0.9%2.75%14.76Buy$76.40
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