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US STOCKS-Wall St opens lower as GE's weak earnings weigh
July 21, 2017 / 1:52 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St opens lower as GE's weak earnings weigh

* GE falls as quarterly profit slides nearly 60 pct

* EBay falls after profit warning

* Schlumberger, Visa rise after strong quarterly results

* Indexes down: Dow 0.30 pct, S&P 0.24 pct, Nasdaq 0.23 pct (Updates to open)

By Tanya Agrawal

July 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes opened lower on Friday, as industrial heavyweight General Electric’s tepid results weighed on investor sentiment.

Shares of GE fell as much as 5.4 percent to their lowest level since Oct 2015, despite the results beating estimates, as the company reported a nearly 60 percent slump in profit.

The stock was the biggest drag on the Dow and the S&P 500.

Honeywell International reversed course after market opened and fell 0.7 percent despite the technology and manufacturing company reporting a rise in its second-quarter profit.

Microsoft fell 0.5 percent, despite the company reporting strong fourth-quarter earnings.

Attention will turn to earnings from big tech names next week, including Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook .

The Nasdaq notched its 10th straight record close on Thursday, marking its best streak since February 2015.

The tech sector has been the best performing S&P sector this year, despite concerns over stretched valuation, as investors look for growth in an otherwise low-growth environment and sectors that are relatively immune from a policy gridlock in Washington.

“If tech earnings were to disappoint, it might finally be the thing that causes a correction, even if it’s a small one,” said J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

Still, overall earnings are expected to be good with analysts expecting earnings to have climbed 8.6 percent, above the 8-percent rise projected at the start of the month, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. About 15 percent of S&P 500 companies have posted results so far.

“The earning season has been good so far and CEOs are also painting a good picture. A lot of people are booking profits and readjusting their positions. It’s been a pretty good year so far and people are taking money off the table,” said Kinahan.

At 9:37 a.m. ET (1337 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 65.65 points, or 0.3 percent, at 21,546.13, the S&P 500 was down 6.08 points, or 0.24 percent, at 2,467.37.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 14.92 points, or 0.23 percent, at 6,375.08.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the industrials index’s 0.81 percent fall leading the decliners.

Visa rose 1.8 percent after the world’s largest payments network operator reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its annual earnings forecast.

EBay fell 2 percent as the company warned that adjusted profit this quarter could fall below analysts’ estimates.

Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services provider, was up 1.5 percent after it reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue.

Colgate-Palmolive fell 1.7 percent after its revenue came in below estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,281 to 1,213. On the Nasdaq, 1,184 issues fell and 1,119 advanced. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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