DuPont paint* Dow off 1.8 pct, S&P off 1.4 pct, Nasdaq off 0.9 pct

* DuPont drops sharply on results, UTX modestly lower

* Apple pares losses after new iPad launch

* About 63 percent of S&P companies miss revenue expectations

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Oct 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, driving the Dow industrials to the biggest drop since June 21, as weak results from index members DuPont and United Technologies showed profit growth is slowing.

This earnings season has so far produced a string of disappointments from companies falling short of Wall Street's expectations. With results in from 29 percent of S&P 500 companies, 37 percent have exceeded revenue forecasts, far short of the 62 percent average, and just 57.2 percent of the S&P 500 names reporting so far have beaten earnings forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters data.

That would be the worst percentage of companies beating earnings estimates since the fourth quarter of 2001 - should it stay at the current level, the data showed.

"We've had a series of misses, topped off by DuPont's pretty dismal earnings this morning," said Bruce Zaro, chief technical strategist at Delta Global Asset Management, in Boston.

"Expectations were low and results have been coming in generally lower, and that's why we're seeing weakness here," he said.

Zaro sees the S&P 500 possibly falling as low as the 1,390 to 1,400 range in the near term.

DuPont's stock lost 9.1 percent to $45.25 after the chemical company reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit and announced 1,500 job cuts. The stock was responsible for a 33-point drag on the Dow, which ended down more than 240 points.

The S&P materials sector index fell 3 percent, largely because of DuPont.

Outlooks have been weak as well. DuPont, United Technologies and 3M Co all cut their outlooks on Tuesday.

Apple's Chief Executive Tim Cook announced the iPad and iPhone maker was launching a smaller, cheaper tablet. Its 8-inch tablet is expected to compete in a market staked out by Inc and Google Inc. Apple shares dropped 3.3 percent to $613.36.

Shares of elevator and air conditioner manufacturer United Technologies were down 1 percent at $77.07 while 3M shares were down 4.1 percent at $88.73.

The Dow Jones industrial average slid 243.36 points, or 1.82 percent, to 13,102.53 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 20.71 points, or 1.44 percent, to 1,413.11. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 26.49 points, or 0.88 percent, to end at 2,990.46.

One outlier from the day's losses was United Parcel Service , which gained 3 percent to $73.73 despite earnings that were viewed by some as disappointing. The Dow Jones Transportation Average rose 0.9 percent.

Overall earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to fall 2.5 percent in the third quarter from a year ago, Thomson Reuters data showed.

In a development reviving investors' worry about Europe, Moody's downgraded five key Spanish regions by one or two notches late on Monday, citing their limited cash reserves and forthcoming bond repayments.

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WAKE UP PEOPLE. We still have not gotten out of the first great recession......

October 24 2012 at 9:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to johnskii's comment

You spelled "depression" incorrectly...

October 24 2012 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Give us a break! These guys are basing the WORLD's economy on PROGECTED profits? Even though ACTUAL profits are still higher than last year? What a mess! The whole financial industry is fundamentally flawed in this respect.While the captains of this industry play craps with the Global Economy, the entire world is held hostage.
Time after time, these insiders rise above the mess that they create; leaving the rest of us at devastating losses in our retirement plans,investments,home values,and jobs! If the average person would please open his eyes ,he would see who is really at fault for this Global recession and high unemployment rates.It seems this personal devastation is not enough though, the industry has taken stable local governments as well as entire nations into financial obliteration! Untill we have transparancy and a level playing field , the entire world will consist of the very rich and the very poor. We are in trouble. Can anyone save us? PLEASE?

October 24 2012 at 9:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey blivethopper, did you ever think that the lie is the other way?

October 24 2012 at 8:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dave's comment

LoL... ever hear of sarcasm?

October 24 2012 at 6:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey blivethopper, did you ever think that the lie is Obama?

October 24 2012 at 8:44 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I don't understand this. Obama said we're in a recovery, so this story must be a lie.

October 24 2012 at 8:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The stock market is gambling er speculation. We have to pay taxes on social security because Bill Clinton and a democratic congress said so. But in all fairness the republicans made no attempt to reverse this when they took power.

October 24 2012 at 8:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

why do we have to pay taxes on s.s. checks? we paid taxes on that money for 45 years. thats double dipping!!!!!!!

October 24 2012 at 8:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The stock market is a crap shoot, nothing more or less than legal gambling where a very few insiders make awesome money and the rest pay the freight. They can never understand why the market goes up and down because tthere e is no real, concrete reason wit the exception its all based on speculation. The entire market is predicated on whims, here-say, guessing, predictions and hysteria.

October 24 2012 at 8:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

to Alexis Elizabeth:
you should do some research before you make an uneducated statement..
first check unemployment and the economy during the Reagan years.
then remember the old adage:
"better to be thought a fool that to open your mouth and prove it"

October 24 2012 at 7:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I dont se how Oballbusta is going to CREATE jobs, is the US givt suddenly going to start opening White Castles and malt likker stands?

October 24 2012 at 7:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply