Dow closes lower on General Electric’s stock drop

U.S. equities fell on Friday as General Electric led industrial stocks lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 100 points before closing 31.71 points lower at 21,580.07. General Electric fell 2.9 percent to lead decliners.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.04 percent to close at 2,472.54, with industrials and energy leading decliners.

The Nasdaq composite ended 0.04 percent lower at 6,387.75 and snapped its longest winning streak since February 2015.

DJIA Dow Industrials 21580.07
-31.71 -0.15%
S&P 500 S&P 500 Index 2472.54
-0.91 -0.04%
NASDAQ NASDAQ Composite 6387.75
-2.25 -0.04%

General Electric reported better-than-expected quarterly results, but sales fell 12 percent year over year. The drop in revenue came as weakness in GE’s energy connections business offset strength in renewables and power units. GE also saw its net profit slump 58 percent year over year.

The three major indexes notched record highs this week as quarterly earnings from S&P 500 companies largely outperform expectations. Microsoft, Honeywell and Morgan Stanley are just a few of the companies that reported earlier this week.

“It’s been a strong week for stocks,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial, noting the S&P and the Nasdaq posted weekly gains. “There a bit of hesitance right now as we head into the weekend.”

Dow, S&P and Nasdaq this week

Source: FactSet

Next week will be the busiest one this earnings season, with about 170 S&P 500 components scheduled to report.

“This is very much an earnings-driven market,” said Paul Springmeyer, senior vice president at U.S. Bancorp Private Wealth Management. “There have not been any major surprises yet. That to us is a tell-tale sign. If earnings continue to grow, stocks should keep higher.”

Calendar second-quarter earnings have mostly exceeded expectations this far. With 20 percent of S&P 500 companies having reported, 73 percent have beaten expectations and 77 percent have beaten on sales, according to John Butters, senior equity analyst at FactSet.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Getty Images
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Investors will also turn their eyes towards Russia as OPEC and non-OPEC countries meet to discuss compliance of agreed production cuts and how to bring down inventory levels.

“Keeping the ‘coalition of the willing’ together will be the central challenge for Saudi Arabia and
Russia, the co-pilots of the historic OPEC/non-OPEC production agreement,” said Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, in a note Thursday.

“They will have to walk a fine line between showing strong resolve to rebalance the market, while avoiding a sudden display of panic so soon after the May OPEC meeting,” she said.

Crude prices erased earlier gains after Reuters reported — citing a firm that forecast OPEC supply — that OPEC supply for July would increase 145,000 barrels per day from June. West Texas Intermediate futures for September delivery fell 2.5 percent to settle below $46 a barrel.

In Europe, equities fell broadly as the euro climbed higher. The German Dax fell nearly 2 percent and was on track for its worst day of the year. The common currency, meanwhile, advanced 0.42 percent to $1.167, building on Thursday’s strong gains.

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