Weak earnings, falling oil prices push stocks down

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By STEVE ROTHWELL
(NEW YORK, AP) – Disappointing earnings reports and falling energy prices pushed stock prices lower in early trading on Wall Street Wednesday.
Bank of America fell 4 percent to $11.80 after reporting earnings that were short of analysts’ expectations. The lender also said that it had agreed to pay $500 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by investors who bought mortgage investments from Countrywide Financial, a lender it acquired in 2008.
Energy stocks dropped 1.9 percent, the most of the 10 industry groups in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, as the price of oil dropped for the fourth day in five. The price of crude has declined 7 percent in the last five days.
The stock market has had a roller coaster ride this week. The Dow logged its biggest drop in five months Monday, 265 points, on concerns about a slowdown in economic growth in China and as the price of gold had its biggest plunge in 30 years. The index won back more than half of that loss a day later following strong housing and earnings reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 137 points, or 0.9 percent, to 14,620, as of 10:22 a.m. EDT Wednesday. The index is down 1.6 percent this week. The S&P 500 dropped 19 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,555 and is 2.1 percent lower since the open bell on Monday.
Among other stocks making big moves, Textron, a maker of small aircraft, plunged 13 percent to $25.61 after the company cut its outlook for business jet deliveries. The Bank of New York Mellon fell 3 percent to $25.76 after it reported a first-quarter loss following a hefty $266 million tax-related charge.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, fell to 1.71 percent from 1.73 percent.