Stocks mixed as more profits miss mark; Apple falls 3%

Stocks cut early losses and were trading mixed Wednesday as investors continue to grapple with the trend of U.S. corporate earnings "beats" being offset by companies that fall short of forecasts continues to keep the broad market in its sideways pattern.

In late morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 50 points, or 0.3%, after being down about 100 points earlier. Dow component profit beats from soft-drink maker Coca-Cola (KO) and aerospace giant Boeing (BA) were competing with disappointing results from iPhone maker Apple (AAPL), which topped earnings estimates by a penny but clocked in its third straight quarter of declining revenue and its first full-year revenue decline in 15 years.

Coca-Cola shares were up 0.3% and Boeing's stock surged more than 2%. But Apple was selling off to the tune of almost 3%. The blue chip Dow has closed lower three of the past four trading sessions, leaving it down 2.5% from its Aug. 15 record high and up 4.3% in 2016.

The broad Standard & Poor's 500 stock index was flat and the Nasdaq composite index was down 0.2%.

The broad market was also dragged down by another drop below $50 per barrel for U.S.-produced crude oil.

Stocks were broadly lower in Europe and Asia. The broad Stoxx Europe 600 index was off 0.9%, and shares were lower in Germany, France and Britain. In Asia, despite a 0.2% gain for Japan's Nikkei 225, major stock indexes closed lower in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

In other earning news, Wall Street was reacting to by a big profit miss from restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), which is still reeling from its food-safety issue, and cuts to the full-year forecast from music streamer Pandora (P) and hotel chain Wyndham Worldwide (WYN).

Chipotle shares were off nearly 7%, Pandora was down more than 7% and Wyndham was down more than 4%.

The earnings picture is being closely watched, as third-quarter profit growth has turned positive, which has raised hopes that the so-called profits recession will end at four quarters. Still, some of the profit reports have come in weak and so-called forward guidance from CEOs has been leaning to the negative side.


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