Chevron AlcoaBy Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 fell for a fourth day on Wednesday, weighed down by disappointing news from Chevron (CVX) and Alcoa (AA) as earnings season got under way.

Chevron shares dropped 4.2 percent to $112.45 after it said third-quarter profits would be "substantially lower" than the previous quarter, while Alcoa fell 4.6 percent to $8.71 after it posted a quarterly loss. The company cut its outlook for global aluminum demand, citing a slowdown in China.

Both stocks are Dow components, and the blue-chip average posted its biggest daily percentage drop since early July.

"The market is worried about what is going to happen with earnings," said Randy Warren, chief investment officer of investment advisory firm Warren Financial Service in Exton, Pennsylvania.

"All expectations are for a softening."

The market continues to focus on weak global demand as S&P 500 companies' third-quarter earnings are expected to fall 2.9 percent from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data. It would be the first decline in three years.

Stocks briefly trimmed losses after the Federal Reserve's Beige Book showed the overall economy had expanded modestly, with most districts seeing strengthened home sales in the last month.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 128.56 points, or 0.95 percent, to end at 13,344.97. The S&P 500 dropped 8.92 points, or 0.62 percent, to 1,432.56. The Nasdaq Composite lost 13.24 points, or 0.43 percent, to end at 3,051.78.

The declines in the Dow and the S&P 500 were partially offset by gains in Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT), which hit an all-time high, and FedEx Corp (FDX), which posted its largest daily advance this year.

Wal-Mart shares climbed 1.7 percent to $75.42 after hitting an all-time high of $76.81 as it cited strong sales at its U.S. grocery stores and a big start to holiday layaway sales in its annual meeting with analysts and investors.

FedEx rose 5.2 percent to $89.99, its largest daily percentage jump this year, as the package delivery company laid out plans to sharply cut costs at two divisions, seeking to improve profits there by $1.7 billion over the next four years.

Yum Brands (YUM) shares climbed 8 percent to $70.99 as the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and other fast-food restaurant chains raised its full-year profit forecast.

Warehouse chain Costco Wholesale (COST) also hit a record high at $104.43 after it reported a jump in quarterly profit. Shares closed at $101.56, up 1.9 percent.

Engine maker Cummins Inc (CMI) lowered its 2012 forecast for a second time this year and its shares dropped 3.4 percent to $87.79.

About 5.9 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and NYSE MKT, below the daily average so far this year of about 6.53 billion shares.

On the NYSE, roughly eight issues fell for every five that rose. On the Nasdaq, six shares declined for every five that advanced.


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15 Comments

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blindsquirl

I have some good news...if the stock market collapsed to ZERO...we'd all still be alive tomorrow.
The only exceptions would be, some of those creepy investors would commit suicide, at the thought of having to WORK, to survive

October 11 2012 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
one4reason

I have some good news...if the stock market collapsed to ZERO...we'd all still be alive tomorrow.
The only exceptions would be, some of those creepy investors would commit suicide, at the thought of having to WORK, to survive.

October 11 2012 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Elisha

Fox News and the Red Plague media try to create

something out of NOTHING,

aka sATaN.

But there is ONLY 1 creator

Jesus Christ

ALL 50 STATES GO BLUE

October 11 2012 at 9:54 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
doctor b

People just need to know he who holds the gold makes the rules and keeps the gold. Those who hold millions plans to keep the millions. Hourly workers are going to be hit hard no matter who wins the election. If you do not increase the taxes for the rich then the poor and middle class will pay. People are color struck and this will be their downfall. The world wide economy has slowed and will affect this country, wholeheartedly.

October 11 2012 at 7:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stepney AOL

Shouldn't we happy that Chevron's profits are down???? .... I'd like to see some further decrease in Chevron earnings..AND BP also since I have a BP card.. $500-600/month for gas. I'll be glad when the *%&^*$& gas prices come down Oh, i forgot wind gusts from the North shut down production...... Hike ........20cent per gallon.... Did anyone finish reading the article. Company's that we love to see gain we're mentioned...= consumer spending..

October 10 2012 at 10:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
JOSEPH R GRECO

ROMNEY WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD IN ALL THE POLLS AS MOST OF AMERICA IS FED UP WITH FAILED POLICIES ACROSS THE GLOBE. TIME TO PACK UP THE TRUCK MR OBAMA AND TAKE YOUR MOTHER IN LAW WITH YOU!!

October 10 2012 at 8:42 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
nortex214

How could Chevron's profits be low since they are charging nearly $5 a gallon for gas out West? Greedy bastards.

October 10 2012 at 7:43 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
coreelectric

LOL! If a pole shows romney may be pulling ahead, people pull their money out of the stock market.

October 10 2012 at 7:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jdykbpl45

Obama lied, our Ambassador died.

October 10 2012 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jdykbpl45's comment
doxyland

Bush lied, hundred of thousands died.

October 10 2012 at 7:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to doxyland's comment
Arthur Charlton

News flash --- Bush is not President anymore. Get over it!!!

October 10 2012 at 8:07 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down
Sharon Sablosky Meye

Didn't Romney's income tax say that the Romney Trust is invested in Chinese oil. Bet he has something to do with this

October 10 2012 at 6:42 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sharon Sablosky Meye's comment
jdykbpl45

Didn't Obama say that the murder of our Ambassador to Lybia, was due to a video and was not a terrorist attack. He lied, the ambassador died.

October 10 2012 at 7:18 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jdykbpl45's comment
doxyland

Bush lied. Hundreds of thousands died.

October 10 2012 at 7:47 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down
mrspelosi

Doxy dear you forgot mention all of us democrats who voted for the war. And even I said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction numerous times darling. How unfortunate for you that you just can not shake your George Bush derangement syndrome.

October 10 2012 at 10:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down