By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK — U.S. stocks ended down slightly Tuesday as a drop in health care and biotech stocks offset gains in United Technologies and Verizon.
A 5.7-percent drop to $140.64 in IBM also weighed on the market. The stock hit a five-year intraday low at $140.28 after it reported a bigger-than-expected fall in quarterly revenue and cut its full-year profit forecast.
The SP health care sector fell 1.5 percent, while the Nasdaq biotech index dropped 3.2 percent. Concerns about drug pricing have hit biotech and other health care shares.
“You’re seeing weakness in momentum names in general. Obviously the health care names are under pressure again, especially pharma companies. That further increases the pall over that sector,” said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.
At the same time, O’Rourke said, investors seem to be buying more stable names, such as Apple (AAPL), which jumped 1.8 percent to $113.77.
Stocks have mostly gained this month following a sell-off in the third quarter, though concern about third-quarter earnings has added to caution in recent sessions.
Among companies beating analyst expectations, United Technologies (UTX) rose 3.9 percent to $95.62, giving the Dow its biggest boost.
Also on the plus side, Verizon (VZ) shares were up 1.2 percent at $45.24 after the largest U.S. wireless service provider reported better-than-expected revenue and profit.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 13.43 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,217.11, the Standard Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) lost 2.89 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,030.77 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 24.50 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,880.97.
The SP 500 is up 5.8 percent so far in October.
Earnings for SP 500 companies are expected to have fallen about 4 percent in the third quarter, while revenue is expected to have declined 3.8 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Of the SP 500 companies that have reported so far, roughly 40 percent have beaten revenue expectations, below the long-term average, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Travelers (TRV) rose 2.5 percent to $108.95. The insurer’s quarterly profit topped estimates, helped by higher underwriting gains. Harley Davidson (HOG) skidded 13.9 percent to $48.25 after the motorcycle maker cut its full-year shipment forecast.
Shares of Tesla (TSLA) dropped 6.6 percent to $213.03 in heavy volume. Consumer Reports magazine found that advanced fuel-saving technology and digital multimedia systems in vehicles including the Tesla Model S sedan are hurting reliability.
After the bell, shares of Yahoo (YHOO) were down 1 percent at $32.50 as it reported a drop in quarterly revenue, while Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) was up 7.6 percent at $508.70 percent after it posted a revenue increase.
During the regular session, advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,888 to 1,170, for a 1.61-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,426 issues fell and 1,345 advanced for a 1.06-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The SP 500 posted 24 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 66 new highs and 49 new lows.
About 6 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 7.3 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters (TRI) data.
–Abhiram Nandakumar contributed reporting from Bangalore, India.
These selected companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results: