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Stocks End Lower Amid Mixed Earnings; Wells Fargo (WFC) Drops

 October 12, 2012 04:13 PM

(By Balachander) U.S. stocks closed on a slightly lower note as investors weighed earnings from banking giants JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

The S&P 500 Index slipped 0.30 percent to end at 1,428.59. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.02 percent to finish at 13,328.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.17 percent to close at 3,044.11.

On the economic data front, the U.S. Labor Department said the core producer price index was unchanged in September, while economists expected an increase of 0.2 percent. The headline index gained 1.1 percent, better than an estimates of a rise of 0.7 percent.
Investors shrugged off the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary reading of consumer sentiment that showed the index rose to 83.1 for October from a reading of 78.3 in September, and above expectations of 78.

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On the earnings front, weak guidance from companies, including bellwether Alcoa (AA) and Chevron (CVX), have raised worries about global economic growth. Investors expect a disappointing third-quarter earnings season, with more companies having guided lower-than-expected numbers, versus those with positive pre-announcements.

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In corporate news, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) shed 1.14 percent following its quarterly results. The banking giant posted a jump in quarterly earnings and revenue topped market expectations.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) retreated 2.64 percent after the bank reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and lower net interest margins.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE:AMD) slumped 14.38 percent after the chip maker reduced its revenue forecast for the third quarter, citing weaker-than-expected demand across all product lines caused by the challenging macroeconomic environment.
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (NASDAQ:JBHT) jumped 6.53 percent after the logistics company posted an increase in earnings and revenue for the third quarter.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) lifted its earnings outlook for the third quarter, and the provider of cleaners and sanitizers agreed to acquire privately-held Champion Technologies for roughly $2.2 billion in a cash and stock deal. Shares advanced 4.04 percent.
NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:NPSP) gained 18.95 percent after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee said it will review on October 16 the safety and efficacy of GATTEX (teduglutide) for the proposed indication of treatment of adults with short bowel syndrome (SBS).

Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ:TZOO) tumbled 14.81 percent after the New York-based Internet media company forecast a drop in third-quarter earnings and revenue.

Workday Inc. (NYSE:WDAY) shares spiked as much as 76 percent on the first day of trading after the provider of cloud-computing software for management of human resources priced its initial public offering above an increased range. Workday's debut comes after strong performances by others in the IPO market this week.

Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:AEZS) announced pricing of $16.5 million public offering of common stock and warrants. The company plans to use the net proceeds for the continued development of perifosine in multiple myeloma and the advancement of its AEZS-108 and AEZS-130 programs. U.S.-listed shares of the drug-development company plunged 22.28 percent.
Global Markets:

European markets ended in red amid concerns over Spain's bailout request, with Germany's DAX down 0.68 percent to close at 7,232.49. France's CAC40 shed 0.72 percent to finish at 3,389.08. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.62 percent to end at 5,793.32.

Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index inched up 0.10 percent to end at 2,104.93. Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 0.15 percent to finish at 8.534.12. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.65 percent to close at 21,136.43. India's BSE Sensex finished at 18,675.18, down 0.69 percent.

Commodity & Currency Scan:

Crude oil futures declined 0.35 percent to $91.75 per barrel, and natural gas futures edged down 0.19 percent to $3.597 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures shed 0.73 percent to $1,757.7 per ounce and silver futures dropped 1.46 percent to $33.585 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro rose 0.25 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2960. The British pound added 0.20 percent against the greenback to 1.6077, and the dollar inched up 0.04 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.3800.



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