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Reuters: Wall St. lower as earnings take sheen off oil surge

Markets | Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:25am EDT
Wall Street was lower on Friday after a slew of disappointing earnings reports from Microsoft and other major companies eclipsed a surge in oil prices which boosted energy shares.
Microsoft was the biggest drag on all three major indexes.
Crude rose about 2.5 percent on signs of strong U.S. gasoline consumption, declining production around the world and oilfield outages. [O/R]

With oil hovering near five-month highs and recent economic data indicating a sluggish pace of economic growth globally, earnings have become a major swing factor for stocks.
The S&P 500 has staged a recovery from a steep selloff earlier this year and is inching toward its all-time high, helped also by a cautious Federal Reserve and companies beating tempered estimates. The index is up half a percent for the week.
“Investors are looking for clarity on two major catalysts – earnings season and the Fed,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital.
“It’s normal for the market to pause before a major level of resistance like 2,134, move sideways for a few days, even a few weeks and then blast off again,” he said.
At 10:59 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 69.21 points, or 0.38 percent, at 17,913.31, the S&P 500 was down 9.51 points, or 0.45 percent, at 2,081.97 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 71.34 points, or 1.44 percent, at 4,874.55.
Six of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower. The technology sector was down 2.2 percent while energy was up 1 percent.
Alphabet and Microsoft were down 5.9 and 7.5 percent, respectively, after both missed profit and revenue estimates.
S&P 500 companies are seen posting a 7.2 percent fall in first-quarter profit, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, and shares of companies failing to beat the already lowered expectations are getting hammered.
General Electric was off 1.5 percent at $30.52 after it reported lower organic revenue.
Caterpillar shares were down 1.6 percent at $77.39 after its results.
Starbucks slipped 5.4 percent after missing sales expectations, while Visa was down 3.8 percent after it cut full-year revenue forecast.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,855 to 964. On the Nasdaq, 1,423 issues rose and 1,143 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed eight new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 27 new highs and 14 lows.