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US: Stocks end lower ahead of earnings


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished modestly lower on Monday as the market prepared for the start of a corporate earnings season that is expected to show generally weaker results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 20.55 points (0.12 per cent) to 17,556.41.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 5.61 (0.27 per cent) to 2,041.99, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 17.29 (0.36 per cent) to 4,833.40.

Stocks opened higher, but veered into negative territory near the end of the session.

Market voices on:

"Today is just wait-and-see until earnings season gets underway," said Bill Lynch, director of investment at Hinsdale Associates.

S&P Capital IQ expects first-quarter earnings to drop 8.1 per cent among S&P 500 companies compared with the year-ago period, with seven of 10 sectors showing a decline.

Yahoo rose 1.1 per cent after the parent of British tabloid Daily Mail said it is working with other parties on a potential bid for the struggling Internet company.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International sank 6.9 per cent on news that a US Senate panel is weighing contempt of Congress proceedings against outgoing chief executive Michael Pearson over his failure to appear before a hearing on drug price hikes.

Hertz Global Holdings plummeted 11.4 per cent as it cut its revenue and earnings outlook, citing excess industry capacity that is depressing revenues. The car-rental company said it was hopeful "that industry capacity will likely moderate as seasonal demand improves" heading into the peak summer period.

Tesla Motors dipped 0.1 per cent after recalling 2,700 Model Model X sport utility vehicles to fix a locking hinge that could allow third-row seat-backs to fold forward.

Under Armour tumbled 5.4 per cent following a downcast report from Morgan Stanley, which pointed to slow sales growth in women's apparel and slowing sales of running shoes. Rivals Nike and Lululemon Athletica lost 2.5 per cent and 4.0 per cent, respectively.

Norfolk Southern dropped 2.7 per cent as Canadian Pacific Railway terminated its effort to acquire the US railroad, three days after US Justice Department antitrust officials criticized the US$28 billion deal. Canadian Pacific rose 3.4 per cent.


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