US STOCKS-S&P's 4-day rally ends on P&G's view; Cisco off late

Reuters - UK Focus

* Procter & Gamble drags on Dow, S&P 500 after outlook

* TripAdvisor (NasdaqGS: TRIP - news) rallies after results; Lorillard (NYSE: LO - news) , Intuit (NasdaqGS: INTU - news) fall

* UBS (Xetra: UB0BL6 - news) downgrades Amazon.com (NasdaqGS: AMZN - news) to "neutral," shares drop

* Dow off 0.2 pct, S&P 500 flat, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK (Frankfurt: HX6.F - news) , Feb 12 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 closed flat onWednesday, with a four-day rally in the index just barely comingto an end after Procter & Gamble cut its outlook, though somepositive earnings limited the decline and eased concerns thatvaluations had become stretched.

The Nasdaq rose for a fifth straight session, boosted bystrong results at TripAdvisor, while the Dow felt the pressurefrom P&G and ended the day slightly lower.

The S&P 500 gained 3.9 percent over the past four sessions,its best four-day performance in 13 months. The move put itabout 1.6 percent below its record closing high of 1,848.38 seton Jan. 15.

"There isn't a big discount to the market since valuationsremain at or approaching fair value, but we don't see it asoverly expensive since earnings are growing steadily," said EricTeal, chief investment officer of First Citizens Bancshares (NasdaqGS: FCNCA - news) inRaleigh, North Carolina. "We're seeing a better tone in themarket after a rough start to the month."

The recent advance came after Wall Street's sharpest drop inmore than a year, with a selloff triggered by turmoil inemerging markets. Those issues still play into markets, withProcter & Gamble saying its lower full-year earnings and salesoutlook was related to the devaluation of currencies in variousdeveloping markets.

Shares of P&G lost 1.7 percent to close at $77.49.

"Stocks that are closely tied to consumer spending patternswill see some volatility ahead," said Teal, who helps oversee$3.5 billion in assets.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 30.83points, or 0.19 percent, to end at 15,963.94. The Standard &Poor's 500 Index lost just 0.49 of a point, or 0.03percent, to finish at 1,819.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 10.24 points, or 0.24 percent, to close at4,201.29.

In other earnings news, TripAdvisor Inc was the S&P500's biggest percentage gainer, climbing 7.2 percent to $90.27a day after the travel website company reported revenue thatbeat expectations.

Owens Corning (NYSE: OC - news) shares jumped 8.7 percent to $43.20after the building products maker reported adjustedfourth-quarter profits that more than tripled, driven by arebound in the U.S. housing market.

Of 365 companies in the S&P 500 that had reported earningsthrough Wednesday morning, 67.7 percent have beaten profitexpectations, above the long-term average of 63 percent,according to Thomson Reuters (Frankfurt: TOC.F - news) data. More than 66 percent havebeaten revenue forecasts, above the historical average of 61percent.

Still, there are signs of weakness, with 4.8 companieswarning about their first-quarter results for every one withpositive guidance, according to Thomson Reuters data.

After the market closed, Cisco Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: CSCO - news) sharesfell 4.2 percent to $21.88 after the network equipment makerreported a drop in revenue, though the decline was less thanexpected.

Whole Foods Market Inc (NasdaqGS: WFM - news) shares lost 6.4 percent to$51.90 after the largest U.S. natural and organic grocery chaincut its full-year sales and profit view. NetApp Inc (NasdaqGS: NTAP - news) shares fell 3.7 percent in extended-hours trading following thecompany's release of quarterly results after the market closed.

Amazon.com Inc fell 3.5 percent to $349.25 afterUBS downgraded the stock of the world's largest online retailerto "neutral," while the shares of both Lorillard Inc andIntuit Inc slumped after their results.

Shares of tobacco company Lorillard fell 5 percent to$47.47. The stock of mobile payment company Intuit dropped 4.1percent to $69.72.

AMCOL International Corp surged 12.3 percent to$41.24 after the U.S. minerals and materials group agreed to beacquired by France's Imerys (Paris: FR0000120859 - news) for about $1.6 billion,including debt.

About 55 percent of the stocks traded on the New York StockExchange closed higher on the day, while about 51.5 percent ofNasdaq-listed shares ended in positive territory.

About 5.71 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms,according to BATS exchange data.

View Comments (0)