U.S. stocks opened sharply lower Friday, on track to break three days of gains, even as earnings from the likes of General Electric and Microsoft continue to come in better than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 80 points to 12,867, led by a 1.5% pullback in Bank of America shares. The S&P 500 fell 8 points to 1,368. The Nasdaq Composite fell 14 points to 2,952. The benchmarks are still higher for the week, and, except for the Dow, the month as well. First the good news. A number of companies continue to report strong earnings particularly in the tech space. Sandisk is jumping 14% on earnings. Google is up 3% on earnings. Microsoft is also higher following earnings. To the downside, AMD Rambus, and Xerox are lower on earnings. AMD and Rambus are down over 10%. Even Apple is lower. In the energy space, Schlumberger and Baker Hughes are higher on earnings. Noble Corp is higher by 2% on an upgrade. Diamond Offshore is also higher on an upgrade. SunCoke Energy is jumping 5% on news the company is looking to restructure as an MLP. Brazilian cement maker, Cemex is higher by 2% on earnings. A number of industrials are struggling including Ingersoll Rand down 3% on earnings. Johnson Controls is lower again following earnings the other day. GE is one of the few industrials higher on better than expected earnings. GE is also one of the few financials higher. All the big banks are lower even as the homebuilders trade higher. Lennar is up a percent and a half. The weakest sector this morning is restaurateurs thanks to disappointing earnings from Chipotle Mexican Grill. The stock is down 22% while competitors like Buffalo Wild Wing and Panera are trading down 4%. Another high flyer, Intuitive Surgical is down 6% on earnings and a downgrade. Through the morning the averages battled back as they usually do only to sell back off. During the lunch hour the Dow fell over 100 points while the Nasdaq dipped 35 points even as Google rallied 2%. In the last hour the averages remained weak with only three Dow components in the green. The Nasdaq has Google up 3% and that's about it. The Dow finished up 120 points at 12,822, putting the index down nearly 0.5% for July. The Nasdaq dropped 40 points, or 1.4%, to close at 2,925, for a 0.3% loss for the month of July. The S&P 500 Index closed down 13 points, or 1%, at 1,362, and barely hung onto a gain of less than 0.1% for the month of July. For the week, the Dow closed up 0.4%, the S&P 500 rose 0.4%, and the Nasdaq advanced 0.6%.
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