Mid-Day Update: Stocks Tumble For A Second Day, Led By Material, Technology Shares

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U.S. stocks are lower at mid-day, sinking for a second day following disappointing earnings from three Dow component companies, among others. A slightly larger-than-expected drop in existing home sales also hurt investment sentiment a little, sending the major averages to their lowest levels of the morning. All 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 are in the red, led by declines among shares of materials and technology companies. Utility stocks are the best relative performers, trading just underwater as a group today. Commodities are mostly lower.

Shares of fast-food restaurant chain McDonalds Corp ( MCD ) are down over 3% and moving closer to year low levels today, the steepest decline among the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Index, after reporting weaker-than-expected Q3 profits. Per-share earnings were $1.43 a share, including $0.08 a share of negative currency impact. The Street was at $1.47.

Also weighing is General Electric ( GE ), falling about 2.8% from nearish to year highs, after missing both revenue and per-share earnings expectations.

Microsoft ( MSFT ) is down about near 3% after reporting adjusted fiscal Q1 profit of $0.53 a share on revenue of $16 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast Microsoft to earn $0.56 a share on $16.5 billion in sales. It also deferred $1.36 billion in revenue for its Office software offer and Windows 8 pre-sales and upgrades. missed on the bottom line but beat revenue esimates.

Overseas, European Union leaders in Brussels agreed late yesterday to establish a eurozone-wide banking supervisor starting in 2013 who would help prevent future banking failures in the region. Meanwhile, the meeting between the leaders will continue to day.

Existing home sales slowed 1.7% last month to a seasonally adjusted 4.75 million annualized pace, according to new data released this morning by the National Association of Realtors. Economists polled by MarketWatch were expecting a 4.8 million rate for September. Home prices continued their rise, however, as inventories declined, falling 3.3% to 2.32 million units.

Commodities are mostly lower. Crude oil for November delivery is down 52 cents at $91.58 a barrel. November natural gas is up 4 cents at $3.63 per 1 million BTU. December gold is down $26.30, or over 1.5%, at $1,718.40 an ounce while December silver is down 85 cents at $32.02 an ounce. December copper is down 9 cents at $3.65 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the US Oil Fund is down near 2% while the US Natural Gas Fund is up 1.5%. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF is down 58 cents at $50.94 and the SPDR Gold Shares ETF is now down more than 1% to around $166.60. The iShares Silver Trust is down more than 2% at just over $31.

Here's where the markets stood at mid-day:

NYSE Composite Index down 86.46 (-1.02%) to 8,356.36

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 152.30 (-1.12%) to 13,396.64

S&P 500 down 17.26 (-1.18%) to 1,440.08

Nasdaq Composite Index down 52.67 (-1.71%) to 3,020.20

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei 225 Index up 0.22%

Hang Seng Index up 0.15%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.16%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.35%

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index down 0.86% to 12,999.06

NYSE Financial Sector Index down 1.16% to 4,909.91

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.75% to 8,060.25

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) AONE, (+57.3%) Settles with Johnson Controls.

(+) RVBD, (+14%) Issues Q4 guidance In line with expectations.

(+) CALL, (+10%) Beats Q3 earnings estimates.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) CBLI, (-23.8%) Selling stock and warrants in Offering.

(-) CMG, (-14.9%, hit year lows) Misses on Q3; Weak FY13 guidance.

(-) MRVL, (-14.1%, hit year lows) Lowers Q3 revenue outlook below estimates; CFO departs.

(-) ATHN, (-9.9%) Q3 beats on EPS but misses on revenues.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: GE , MCD , MSFT

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