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VOL. 38 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 17, 2014

Stocks fall on US earnings, weak China report

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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are falling broadly Thursday after several companies issued disappointing earnings and forecasts. Investors also worried about a slowdown in China after a survey suggested that manufacturing in the world's second-largest economy was contracting.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 163 points, or 1 percent, to 16,210 as of noon Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 16 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,829. The Nasdaq composite dropped 33 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,210. Two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

CHINA INDUSTRIAL: The preliminary reading of HSBC's purchasing managers' index for China dipped this month to 49.6, the lowest level since July. Numbers below 50 indicate contraction.

"Any kink in the growth story globally is going to give investors pause," said James Dunigan, chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management. "The market at these levels is a bit skittish."

WEAK RESULTS: Several U.S. companies fell after reporting their latest quarterly results, including KeyCorp, Johnson Controls and Jacobs Engineering. United Continental fell $1.50, or 3 percent, to $47.68 after its prediction for revenue growth this quarter disappointed investors.

CEO OUT: American Eagle Outfitters tumbled $1.36, or 9 percent, to $12.95 after the company announced the unexpected departure of its CEO, Robert Hanson. The teen retailer had reported disappointing sales over the holiday season.

WATCHING NETFLIX: Netflix jumped $48.65, or 15 percent, to $382.38, the biggest gain in the S&P 500. After the closing bell Wednesday, the streaming video company reported fourth-quarter earnings had climbed six-fold and that it had added 2.3 million subscribers during the period.

THE ICAHN EFFECT: EBay rose 63 cents, or 1 percent, to $55.04 as pressure mounted from activist investor Carl Icahn for the company to spin off PayPal. Ebay's CEO has said a spin off was not in the best interest of shareholders. After the market closed Wednesday, the company reported higher earnings on strong holiday-season buying.

MOVING FREIGHT: Union Pacific rose $5.19, or 3 percent, to $173.69 after reporting a 13 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings that beat analyst forecasts.

TREASURIES AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.80 percent from 2.86 percent on Wednesday. The price of oil rose 98 cents, or 1 percent, to $97.71 a barrel. Gold was up $21.10, or 1.7 percent, to $1,259.70 an ounce.