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US stocks sink on weak earnings; Nasdaq -1.9%

/ 06:31 AM January 28, 2015
Specialists work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Wall Street stocks finished sharply lower Tuesday following a disappointing stream of corporate earnings and mixed US economic data.  AP PHOTO/RICHARD DREW

Specialists work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Wall Street stocks finished sharply lower Tuesday following a disappointing stream of corporate earnings and mixed US economic data. AP PHOTO/RICHARD DREW

NEW YORK–Wall Street stocks finished sharply lower Tuesday following a disappointing stream of corporate earnings and mixed US economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 291.49 points (1.65 percent) to 17,387.21.

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The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 27.54 (1.34 percent) to 2,029.55, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted 90.27 (1.89 percent) to 4,681.50.

Dow component Caterpillar sank 7.2 percent as earnings suffered due to weakness in the oil sector, while Microsoft slumped 9.3 percent on a disappointing outlook. Other big companies also dropped following poor results.

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“I think what we’re seeing is concern on both the economics and earnings front,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at S&P Capital IQ.

Investors were troubled by a 3.4 percent drop in US durable goods orders in December, which offset a Conference Board report that said US consumer confidence jumped in January to its highest level in more than seven years.

Several large technology stocks were battered following the Microsoft outlook. Dow member Intel lost 4.5 percent, Cisco shed 3.8 percent and Google fell 3.1 percent.

Apple, which was scheduled to report earnings after the market closed, dropped 3.5 percent.

Dow member Procter & Gamble shed 3.5 percent as second-quarter net income dropped 31 percent to $2.4 billion in part due to the strong dollar.

Mining giant Freeport-McMoRan lost 6.0 percent as it reported a $2.9 billion fourth-quarter loss, primarily due to a $3.4 billion charge on the value of oil properties. Lower metals prices also marred results.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 1.21 percent from 1.82 percent Monday night, while the 30-year dipped to 2.39 percent from 2.40 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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