Wall Street slips after Tuesday rally, results eyed
By Chuck Mikolajczak | February 7, 2013 2:28 AM EST
U.S. stocks dipped on Wednesday as investors, awaiting fresh trading incentives, locked in profits after recent rallies took the S&P 500 to five-year highs.
Transportation stocks were among the worst performers weighed down by an 8.2 percent drop in CH Robinson Worldwide
The Dow Jones Transportation index <.DJT> shed 0.6 percent after closing at an all-time high on Tuesday. The index has surged more than 10 percent this year so far.
A 6-percent advance this year so far has lifted the benchmark S&P 500 index to its highest since December 2007, while the Dow <.DJI> briefly climbed above 14,000 recently, making it a challenge for investors to continue pushing the equity market upward in the absence of strong catalysts.
"You knew a correction was coming; the question was whether they were going to tease you and get it close and then start selling it off or get (the Dow) up to 14,000 and then start to make a move to the sell side," said Gordon Charlop, managing director at Rosenblatt Securities in New York.
"We got a quick move and it's really just not healthy for markets to go one way, so the idea that a little bit of a correction is due isn't troublesome to me at all."
Walt Disney Co
According to Thomson Reuters data through Wednesday morning, of 301 companies in the S&P 500 <.SPX> that have reported earnings, 68.1 percent have exceeded analysts' expectations, above a 62 percent average since 1994 and 65 percent over the past four quarters. In terms of revenue, 65.8 percent of companies have topped forecasts.
Looking ahead, fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are now expected to grow 4.7 percent, according to the data, above a 1.9 percent forecast at the start of the earnings season.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> lost 35.52 points, or 0.25 percent, at 13,943.78. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> slipped 3.17 points, or 0.21 percent, at 1,508.12. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> shed 4.34 points, or 0.14 percent, at 3,167.24.
The benchmark S&P index rose 1.04 percent Tuesday, its biggest percentage gain since a 2.5-percent advance on January 2, when legislators sidestepped a "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax hikes that could have hurt a fragile U.S. economic recovery.
Ralph Lauren Corp
Time Warner Inc
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)