Wall St. mixed as earnings offset merger news

Wall St. mixed as earnings offset merger news

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange April 20, 2015.

Reuters/Brendan McDermid

n”>(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were mixed on Tuesday, with the Dow industrials pulled down by a handful of uninspiring earnings reports, while the Nasdaq was pushed higher by a proposed biotech merger.

Travelers (TRV.N), DuPont (DD.N) and IBM (IBM.N) shares weighed most on the Dow. DuPont reported lower sales in all of its businesses and said a strong dollar would take a toll on its full-year earnings. IBM also mentioned currency effects when it reported a fall in revenue late on Monday.

DuPont was down 2.97 percent at $70.67 and IBM fell 0.85 percent to $164.74.

March-quarter earnings season is in full swing, with almost 73 percent of the S&P 500 components that have reported so far beating bottom-line expectations, but just 42.2 percent beating expectations for revenue, suggesting that businesses are struggling to expand.

“Top-line growth is still a struggle,” said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co. “If that continues into the second quarter, that would be a problem. It tells you the economy is not doing that well.”

The dollar .DXY has gained almost 9 percent since the beginning of the year against a basket of major currencies, hurting companies with large overseas operations.

Travelers reported a drop in quarterly net profit and its shares fell 3.02 percent.

At 1:02 p.m. the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 59.95 points, or 0.33 percent, to 17,974.98, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 1.04 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,099.36 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 23.28 points, or 0.47 percent, to 5,017.88.

Mylan (MYL.O) shares rose 9.95 percent to a record high of $74.84 after Israeli drugmaker Teva (TEVA.N) made an unsolicited offer of $82 per share, in what could be the drug industry’s largest takeover this year. Teva rose 1.50 percent. The Nasdaq Biotech index .NBI rose 1.75 percent.

Chipotle (CMG.N), Yahoo (YHOO.O) and chipmaker Broadcom (BRCM.O) were expected to report their quarterly results after the bell on Tuesday.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,531 to 1,420, for a 1.08-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,382 issues rose and 1,277 fell for a 1.08-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 9 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 78 new highs and 22 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Meredith Mazzilli)

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Wall St. mixed as earnings offset merger news

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