Stocks fell for a third day after Moody's late yesterday placed
the credit rating for Germany and two other European countries on
review for a possible downgrade, igniting new fears over the
eurozone debt crisis. Creditors also were in Greece today to
evaluate its progress in meeting austerity measures established as
a condition for continued aid to the financially strapped nation.
Closer to home, two measures of U.S. manufacturing declined in
July, further weakening enthusiasm for stocks. Commodities were
The negative outlook by Moody's for German, Dutch and Belgian
debt left Finland as the only country in the 17-nation euro region
with a stable view for its top ranking. Chancellor Angela pushed
back against the rating agency's move, saying Germany will remain
Europe's haven during the financial crisis. The risks in the euro
zone are "not new" and Germany remains "in a very sound economic
and financial situation," the Finance Ministry said.
Growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector slowed to its
second-weakest level in July since the country emerged from
recession, according to the Markit flash U.S. manufacturing
purchasing managers index survey released Tuesday. The index fell
to 51.8 in July from 52.5 in June. It is the worst level since
December 2010 and the second-worst since the end of 2009.
The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank also released its monthly
survey of manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region,
reporting a surprise drop to a minus-20 reading, down from a
minus-3 reading last month. Economic experts were expecting a 0.0
reading this month for the Richmond Fed index.
Disappointing earnings news also weighed on trader sentiment,
with package-delivery company UPS (
) falling over 5% after missing analyst revenue forecasts. The
company also lowered its FY12 EPS guidance to $4.50 to $4.70 from a
prior range of $4.75 to $5.00 a share. Analysts are looking for
Elsewhere, Whirlpool (
) slid over 7% after the home appliance maker reported adjusted Q2
earnings of $1.55 a share, missing the average analyst estimate in
a Bloomberg survey of $1.69.
Commodities were mixed. Crude oil for September delivery settled
42 cents higher at $88.51 a barrel. August natural gas rose 6 cents
at $3.18 per 1 million BTU. August gold fell $1.10 to $1576 an
ounce while September silver fell 21 cents to $26.81 an ounce.
September copper was down 3 cents at $3.35.
Here's where the markets stood at end-of-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 104.14 (-0.82%) to
S&P 500 down 12.21 (-0.90%) to 1,338.31
Nasdaq Composite Index down 27.16 (-0.94%) to 2,862.99
Hang Seng Index down 0.79%
Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.24%
FTSE 100 Index down 0.63%
(+) SRPT, Preliminary Phase IIb clinical results point to a
possible "genetic fix" for a rare form of muscular dystrophy.
(+) HSTM, Beats revenue projections with $25.8 million in Q2
sales, $300,000 better than analyst estimates. EPS of $0.09 meets
(+) SANM, Fiscal Q3 revenues beats estimates. Electronics
manufacturer also raises Q4 top-line forecast, helping traders
overlook $0.02 Q3 EPS miss.
(+) CLGX, Handily beats analyst expectations with $389.4 million
in Q2 revenues. Earnings of $0.39 a share in-line with
(-) WBMD, Expects Q2 net loss of $0.12 a share, in-line with
Capital IQ consensus. Revenues of $112 million just shy. Provides
downside Q3, FY12 revenue guidance.
(-) RDCM, Small, year-ago profit swings to $0.28 a share Q2 loss
on $3.42 million in revenues - or 42% under the $5.9 million in
(-) DV, Forecasts Q4 earnings of $0.43 to $0.46 a share, missing
analyst expectations by at least $0.33. Sees revenue of $500
million to $510 million; Street is at $518 million.
(-) GNTX, Q2 earnings of $0.28 a share miss Street forecasts by
$0.01. Sees Q3 sales of $269.5 million to $283 million - $7.85
million under the Street view.