NEW YORK – Disappointing news about earnings helped push the stock market lower Tuesday.
Campbell’s Soup fell sharply after reporting that its profit slumped as sales of soups and V8 beverages fell. The two stocks were the biggest decliners in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.
Campbell’s declined by $2.61, or 6.2 percent, to $39.20, after reporting that its quarterly profit plunged by 30 percent. A recall of the recently acquired Plum Organics products also hurt results, and the company cut its earnings forecast for the year.
Even with the slight decline, the S&P 500 is still up by 25 percent so far in 2013 and has risen for six weeks straight, the longest winning streak since February. The extended run-up has prompted a number of market-watchers to call for caution.
“We’ve had a phenomenal run, particularly in the last few weeks. I wouldn’t be surprised if we would pull back from here,” said Alec Young, global equity strategist with S&P Capital IQ.
The Dow Jones industrial average edged down by 8.99 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,967.03, the first decline for the index in five days. The S&P 500 lost 3.66 points, or 0.2 percent, falling to 1,787.87, and the Nasdaq composite lost 17.51 points, or 0.4 percent, dropping to 3,931.55.
The Dow and the S&P 500 crossed round-number milestones in early trading Monday but failed to build on those advances. The Dow crossed 16,000 and the S&P 500 hit 1,800 for the first time before falling back to close below those levels both Monday and Tuesday.
Retailers were a key focus, as the holiday shopping season approaches. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Consumer spending is a critical component of the U.S. economy, so how consumers behave in the holiday season will affect the outlook for growth.
Best Buy sank by $4.78, or 11 percent, to $38.78, after its warning of a tough holiday period. The company’s stock is still up by 227 percent this year, making it the second-best performer in the S&P 500 after Netflix.
Home Depot rose 71 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $80.38, after reporting income that surpassed analysts’ expectations. The company also raised its earnings forecast for the year.
TJX Cos., which operates discount stores including T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, climbed 63 cents, or 1 percent, to $63.12. Its income rose by 35 percent as sales improved at both U.S. and international stores.
Investors were also watching JPMorgan Chase. The bank reached a record $13 billion settlement with federal and New York State authorities, resolving claims over the bank’s sales of mortgage-backed securities that collapsed in the housing crisis.
JPMorgan closed 41 cents, or 0.7 percent, higher at $56.15.
In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 2.71 percent, from 2.67 percent. Crude oil gained 31 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $93.34 a barrel, and gold edged up by $1.20, or 0.1 percent, to $1,273.50 an ounce.
United Continental had a rise of $1.42, or 3.9 percent, to $37.80 after the airline operator told investors that it will cut costs, overhaul its website, and shift routes from Asia to Europe.