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Weak company earnings reports push stocks lower

Specialist Michael Pistillo, left, and trader Timothy Nick

Specialist Michael Pistillo, left, and trader Timothy Nick work on the floor of the NYSE on  Oct. 19, 2017.  Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Rising bond yields and a string of weak company reports and forecasts pushed stocks lower Wednesday as major indexes retreated from their recent record highs. Industrial and technology companies and banks fared the worst.

Companies including telecom giant AT&T, aerospace company Boeing, chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices and credit card issuer Discover Financial Services all gave shaky results, disappointing forecasts, or both.

That sent stocks downward, and in early afternoon trading the Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 190 points, after setting a record the day before. Stocks recovered some of their losses in afternoon trading, but all 11 industry sectors in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index finished the day lower. Bond yields jumped to seven-month highs.

“Higher yields (and) a string of positive returns from the market combined with some weak earnings numbers gave investors some reasons to attempt to take profits,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Equity Research.

The S&P 500 shed 0.5 percent, to 2,557.15. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 112.30 points, or 0.5 percent, to 23,329.46. The Nasdaq composite sank 0.5 percent, to 6,563.89. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dropped 0.5 percent, to 1,493.48. — AP

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