Stocks edged mostly lower Friday as investors assessed corporate news. The stock market is headed for its biggest weekly loss since April after ending the previous week at a record high.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped two points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,962 as of 12:07 p.m. on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 31 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,884. The Nasdaq composite gained four points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,400.
SALES MISS: Industrial and construction supplies company Fastenal dropped $2.27, or 4.7 percent, to $45.88 after reporting sales that fell short of analyst's expectations. The company said revenue climbed 12 percent to $949.9 million from $847.6 million in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts expected $951 million.
WHERE THERE'S SMOKE: Tobacco company Lorillard rose $2.28, or 3.6 percent, to $65.37, after rival Reynolds American confirmed it was in talks with Lorillard and British American Tobacco, its largest shareholder, about an acquisition. Reynolds fell 87 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $61.38.
THE EARNINGS TAPE: U.S. companies are starting to report their results for the second quarter, and investors are expecting to see more growth in profits. Earnings for S&P 500 companies are forecast to rise by 6.5 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, according to data from S&P Capital IQ.
THE QUOTE: "The market is looking for signs of strength and certainly earnings are going to figure pretty heavily," said Jim Russell, a regional investment director at US Bank.
JITTERY WEEK: The S&P 500 index is poised for its biggest weekly loss since April after closing out the previous week at a record high. Stocks retreated from all-time highs this week as investors worried the rally may have gone too far. Worries about the soundness of a Portuguese bank also spooked U.S. investors.
The S&P 500 has dropped 1.2 percent this week, its biggest fall since the week ending April 11, when investors sold stocks following disappointing bank earnings.
BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which falls when prices climb, dropped to 2.52 percent from 2.54 percent late Thursday. The price of oil fell $1.44, or 1.4 percent, to $101.93.