While its two peer indexes finished the day essentially unchanged, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.3% as AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) sank the blue chips following earning releases. Durable-goods orders for March were down significantly, falling 5.7% against an expected drop of 3.1%, and February’s increase was also revised downward. It was the worst drop orders in seven months for products like cars, appliances, and furniture, and the category fell 1.4% excluding the more volatile transportation segments. Stocks were up Europe and Asia earlier, but concern about earnings and the durable-goods report seems to have dampened any carryover effect.
After reporting earnings last night, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) shares finished down 5% and fell another 1.5% after hours. Investors were disappointed that Ma Bell reported losing a net total of 69,000 cell phone subscribers. The country’s No. 2 telecom made strong gains on tablet data plans, but that wasn’t even to avert concerns that its bigger rival, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), was leaving it in the dust. EPS were in line with estimates at $0.64, but revenue fell by 1% in the quarter, a bigger drop than expected.
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) was the Dow’s other big loser, falling 5.9%, its worst single-day drop since January 2009 as the consumer-goods manufacturer disappointed Wall Street with its forecast. Adjusted earnings of $0.99 actually beat estimates of $0.96, but it saw per-share profits come in below estimates of $0.81, as the detergent-maker saw weak international growth and increased marketing costs. Revenue grew 2%, slightly below estimates, and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) also cut 6,250 jobs in the quarter.
The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) was one Dow stock bucking the overall trend, finishing up 3% after posting a better-than-expected earnings report despite its problems with its 787 Dreamliner Jet. Sales of its 777 grew swiftly, and its defense unit also showed expanded margins and set a record backlog of $392 billion. For the quarter, The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) turned in per-share profit $1.44, below expectations of $1.48, and revenue dropped 2.5%, but investors seemed to have adjusted their expectations considering the 787 snafu.
The article Dow Off Slightly on 2 Big Misses originally appeared on Fool.com.
Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Procter & Gamble.
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