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Stocks slip as earnings hit consumer companies

U.S. stocks are slipping Tuesday as corporate earnings dominate the news and consumer companies like athletic apparel maker Under Armour and appliance maker Whirlpool absorb their largest losses in years. However strong results for household goods maker Procter & Gamble are sending its stock higher.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average shed 47 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,176 as of 12:45 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,143. The Nasdaq composite fell 28 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,282.

BAD FIT: Under Armour reported its slowest sales growth in six years and said its future sales won’t be as strong as it expected a year ago. Its stock tumbled $5.09, or 13.4 percent, to $32.81. Under Armour traded above $50 a share a little more than a year ago.

PAINT IT BLACK: Paint and coatings maker Sherwin-Williams posted a profit that was smaller than expected. The company cut its annual guidance because of slower sales growth combined with spending on new stores. Its stock lost $27.88, or 10 percent, to $250.

FOCUS: Procter & Gamble, the company that makes Tide detergent and Charmin toilet paper, reported better results than investors expected. The consumer products giant has been selling some businesses to cut costs, and it posted stronger sales of personal care products like toothbrushes and deodorants. Its stock rose $3.28, or 3.9 percent, to $87.38.

ALL WET: Appliance maker Whirlpool’s results fell far short of analyst projections. The maker of Maytag and KitchenAid products sank $19.22, or 11.3 percent, to $151.24.

A GUSHER: Oil and gas drilling services company Baker Hughes disclosed a smaller loss than investors expected. Investors were also pleased that Baker Hughes is preparing to cut more costs. The company said it plans to eliminate $650 million in spending this year, up from the $500 million it had planned to cut. It climbed $2.40, or 4.6 percent, to $54.55.

SLOWING TO A TRICKLE: Waters Corp., which makes products used in drug development, announced weak revenue as demand from governments, research institutions and industries fell. The stock slid $18.09, or 11.5 percent, to $139.66.

AIMING HIGH: Aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin surpassed investor forecasts and raised its projections for the year. Its stock gained $15.03, or 6.5 percent, to $247.19.

TAP THE BRAKES: General Motors had a strong quarter but investors sent its stock down $1.34, or 4.1 percent, to $31.64. U.S. auto sales have risen to record highs and recently they’ve showed some signs of slowing down, which has left investors worried about GM’s growth.

MERCK MAKES MORE: Drugmaker Merck raised its forecasts after it reported a bigger profit on greater sales of vaccines and cancer medicines. The company has also been trying to keep is spending in check. The stock rose 95 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $61.70.

3M GETS STUCK: 3M, which makes Post-it notes, industrial coatings and ceramics, forecast weaker sales growth and a smaller profit for the year. The stock declined 5.34, or 3.1 percent, to $165.94.

GOING UP: Elevator and jet engine manufacturer United Technologies raised its annual forecast after its third-quarter profit surpassed analyst estimates. Its stock gained $2.11, or 2.1 percent, to $101.63.

THIS WON’T GET GOOD RATINGS: Media and marketing information company Nielsen reported shaky results and cut its guidance, which sent its stock down $7.88, or 14.3 percent, to $47.05.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE: American consumers felt less confident this month, according to the Conference Board. Consumer confidence was lower than expected. The measurement rose to a 20-month high in September.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 59 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $49.93 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 66 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $50.80 a barrel in London. However energy companies held steady thanks to big gains for Baker Hughes and to oil refiner Valero, which reported strong results and jumped $2.47, or 4.4 percent, to $58.63.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.75 percent from 1.77 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 104.20 yen from 104.24 yen. The euro fell to $1.0885 from $1.0879.

OVERSEAS: In Britain the FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent while France’s CAC 40 lost 0.3 percent and the DAX in Germany was little changed. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.8 percent and South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.5 percent. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 0.2 percent.

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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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