|Street retreats for third day
US stocks retreated for the third straight session on another quiet news day that left investors searching for direction.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 48.07 (0.31 percent) to 15,470.67.
The broad-based S&P 500 gave up 6.46 (0.38 percent) at 1,690.91, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 11.76 (0.32 percent) to 3,654.01.
Analysts said markets are still steadying themselves after the barrage of corporate earnings and economic data releases in recent weeks.
“We are taking some time to digest the recent gains,'' said Art Hogan, head of product strategy at Lazard Capital Markets.
Dow component Walt Disney Company fell 1.7 percent after signaling that it would incur a US$160-US$190 million charge in the next quarter due to the flop of its expensive “Lone Ranger'' film.
21st Century Fox, reporting for the first time since being hived off from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp publishing assets, gained 1.7 percent after reporting a 2013 profit of US$7.1 billion, up from US$1.2 billion in 2012, on strength in its cable television offerings.
Oil and gas company EOG Resources, a leading player in the Bakken oil and gas fields in North Dakota, advanced 2 percent after reporting US$2.10 per share in earnings, well above the US$1.73 forecast by analysts. EOG also announced it was raising its targets for 2013 petroleum production.
Solar company First Solar sank 13.4 percent after earnings came in at 39 cents a share, 17 cents below expectations.
Biotechnology firm Amgen jumped 6.8 percent following reports that it is close to acquiring Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Onyx fell 2.9 percent.
AOL tacked on 1.4 percent after announcing a US$405 million acquisition of video advertising firm Adap.tv.
Bond prices gained. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.60 percent from 2.64 percent Tuesday, while the 30-year dropped to 3.69 percent from 3.73 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.—AFP