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Weak quarterly reports push stocks lower for a second day

By Marley Jay Associated Press

NEW YORK – U.S. stocks are falling Tuesday following weak fourth-quarter results from companies including UPS and Under Armour. Industrial and financial companies are down the most as investors move money into bonds and stocks that pay large dividends, like utilities. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is on track for its fourth consecutive loss.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 170 points, or 0.9 percent, to 19,800 as of 2:20 p.m. Eastern time as companies like Goldman Sachs and Boeing returned some of their recent gains. The S&P 500 lost 9 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,271. The Nasdaq composite fell 29 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,584. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks lost less than 1 point to 1,351.

The S&P 500 is on the verge of its longest losing streak since before the presidential election in November. But the losses have been fairly small and other indexes haven’t lost much ground. The Nasdaq set an all-time high on Friday.

SHOELACES UNTIED: Athletic apparel maker Under Armour is plunging after investors were disappointed with its fourth-quarter report, which included higher expenses. Under Armour also issued a weak full-year forecast and said its chief financial officer is leaving. The stock tumbled $7.31, or 25.3 percent, to $21.63. It dropped 30 percent last year and is now trading at its lowest price in two years. Rival Nike also lost 63 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $52.45.

RETURN TO SENDER: United Parcel Service sank after the package delivery company forecast an annual profit that was far smaller than analysts expected. UPS expects to earn no more than $6.10 a share this year while FactSet says experts expected $6.15 per share. UPS gave up $7.66, or 6.5 percent, to $109.37 and FedEx fell $5.07, or 2.6 percent, to $188.18. That helped pull industrial companies lower.

NERVES: Another day of protests against parts of Trump’s agenda and challenges for some of his cabinet nominees who haven’t been confirmed by Congress made investors a bit more nervous. The VIX, an index known as Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” rose again after jumping Monday. It climbed 8 percent Tuesday to 12.88, which is up from 10 late last week but about the same as it was two weeks ago.

BONDS: Bond prices rose as investors snapped up bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.45 percent from 2.49 percent. That hurt financial stocks, as lower bond yields reduce interest rates and the profits those companies make from lending. Goldman Sachs fell $5.42, or 2.3 percent, to $228.45 and JPMorgan Chase lost $1.90, or 2.2 percent, to $84.14.

Investors who want income also bought stocks that pay outsize dividends, including real estate investment trusts and utility companies. Gains for those stocks limited the market’s losses overall.

Shopping mall operators Simon Property Group and GGP both traded higher after their quarterly reports. Simon gained $5.80, or 3.3 percent, to $183.54 and GGP rose $1.10, or 4.6 percent, to $25.06. Electric utility Duke Energy added $1.31, or 1.7 percent, to $78.43.

METALS: The price of gold and silver made their biggest jumps in two weeks. Gold rose $15.40, or 1.3 percent, to $1,211.40 an ounce. Silver gained 39 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $17.54 an ounce. Copper picked up 7 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $2.73 a pound. That was its largest move in three weeks.

EASED OFF THE THROTTLE: Harley-Davidson said it shipped fewer motorcycles in the fourth quarter and its profit and sales disappointed Wall Street. The company also said it expects shipments to be flat or down this year. The stock shed $1.94, or 3.3 percent, to $55.98.

DRUG RULING DINGS TEVA: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries slumped after a court ruled that four patents protecting its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone are not valid. Teva said it will appeal the ruling, which could help competitor Mylan launch a lower-priced version of Teva’s best-selling product. Teva fell $1.11, or 3.2 percent, to $33.41 and Mylan gained 57 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $36.91.

ENERGY: U.S. crude oil rose 72 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $53.35 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, added 87 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $56.19 a barrel in London. However energy companies continued to decline. They’ve climbed over the last year as oil prices rallied, but after a big jump in November and early December, energy companies have done worse than the rest of the market. Exxon Mobil lost 98 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $83.88. Natural gas companies fell as the price of that fuel slid 2.8 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 112.99 yen from 113.67 yen. The euro rose to $1.0787 from $1.0695.

OVERSEAS: Stocks in Europe turned lower. Germany’s DAX lost 1.3 percent and the CAC 40 of France fell 0.7 percent. The FTSE 100 index in Britain lost 0.3 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 1.7 percent. The South Korean Kospi lost 0.8 percent. Markets in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan were closed for Lunar New Year holidays.

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