US shares slid as investors traded less over the possibility that tension in Ukraine could result in tougher measures before firms announced their earnings.
Yum! Brands Inc. declined 3.6% and McDonald’s Corp. retreated 0.8% after the firms stopped buying meat from a Chinese supply being investigated. Hasbro Inc. shed 2.4% after its revenue figures missed analysts’ projections. BB&T Corp lost 3.7% as reviewed profit was lower than targets. Allergan Inc. advanced 1.7% after announcing it will lay off staff and results that surpassed expectations.
The S&P 500 declined 0.4% to 1,970.05 as of 12:09 pm in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 71.54 points or 0.4% to 17,028.64. The volume of stocks changing hands in the S&P 500 index was 2.8% below the average for the past 30 days at the particular time of the day.
“The geopolitical situation is an overarching damper on the market and underneath that this week we’re right in the heart of second quarter earnings. While the market is net focused on earnings, we’re still trying to keep a pulse on what’s going on around the world,” Mathew Kaufler of Clover Value Fund told Bloomberg in an interview.
Up to 10 firms in the S&P 500 will report earnings today.
According to Reuters, developments in Gaza also continued to command investor attention.
Gaza came under attack by Israeli jets, artillery and military tanks as the number of people killed in the two-week war rose above 500 against the background of increasing international plea for a ceasefire. Fighters from Hamas, the political group that runs Gaza, have on several occasions tried to reach Israel via hidden tunnels.
There was intense fighting in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, amid ongoing probe of the bodies of people who died when a Malaysian Airline’s jet was downed last week. The US and its allies attribute the tragedy to pro-Russian rebels and Moscow.
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