US stocks slipped from two-week highs on Tuesday as results and forecasts from companies in sectors including housing and consumer products failed to live up to expectations.
Apple, the largest US company by market capitalization, posted after the bell better-than-expected iPhone sales that however continued a declining trend and shares fell about 2 percent, briefly dragging S&P 500 futures to session lows.
During the regular session, Whirlpool, down 10.8 percent to $152.09, cited soft demand as it posted lower-than-expected earnings and gave an underwhelming forecast. Sherwin Williams’ outlook also disappointed Wall Street and shares fell 10.9 percent to $247.61.
Both were an indication to some analysts that the housing sector may be cooling.
“Lackluster results from Whirlpool and Sherwin Williams may indicate a slowing in the housing cycle,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
She said those results could be weighing on Home Depot , which was down 3.5 percent at $123.34 as the largest points decliner on the S&P 500. Lowes Cos fell 3.5 percent to $68.47.
Consumer products company Procter & Gamble rose 3.4 percent to $86.97 after reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit, while sportswear maker Under Armour fell 13.2 percent to $32.89 after it reported its slowest quarterly sales growth in six years.
“We had a rally (Monday) and haven’t been able to sustain it, due to weaker-than-expected numbers from some names,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments in Lisle, Illinois, calling the day’s earnings a “mixed bag.”
Overall, annualized third-quarter earnings from S&P 500 companies are expected to have risen 1.7 percent, effectively putting an end to an earnings recession, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Of the 150 companies that have reported so far, 75.3 percent have beaten analyst expectations, above the long-term average of 63.5 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 53.76 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,169.27, the S&P 500 lost 8.17 points, or 0.38 percent, to 2,143.16 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 26.43 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,283.40.
Futures were also pressured after the bell by a late decline in oil prices after data showed a bigger-than-expected build in U.S. crude inventories.
3M fell 2.9 percent to $166.23 after the maker of Scotch tape and Post-it notes trimmed its full-year revenue and earnings forecasts for the second time.
Caterpillar lost 1.8 percent after a downbeat forecast, while General Motors fell 4.2 percent amid fears regarding future profits.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.53-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.17-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and nine new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 67 new highs and 73 new lows.
About 6.39 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, in line with the 6.4 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.