Dow Down Nearly 300 Points On Weak Economic Data
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks fell Monday as fears increased that the strong dollar and lower oil prices will hurt U.S. first-quarter earnings.

Nine of the 10 S&P 500 sectors fell, led by a 1.1 percent decline in S&P industrials. Shares of General Electric (GE) dropped 3.1 percent to $27.63 after rallying Friday, when it said there was potential to return more than $90 billion to investors through 2018. Shares of 3M (MMM) were down 0.7 percent at $165.84.

The dollar was last up 0.1 percent against a basket of major currencies after hitting a peak of 99.99, its highest in four weeks. A stronger dollar tends to hurt profits for U.S. multinationals. U.S. crude oil edged higher but sharp losses since last year have weighed on energy companies’ results.

We’re all waiting on earnings, which are going to be coming fast and furious as we move through the week.

Corporate earnings kick into high gear this week. Estimates for first-quarter S&P 500 results have fallen sharply since Jan. 1, with earnings for the period expected to have declined 2.9 percent from a year ago, Thomson Reuters data showed.

“We’re all waiting on earnings, which are going to be coming fast and furious as we move through the week. I think there is some trepidation about what the earnings announcements are going to look like and so investors are cautious,” said John Carey, portfolio manager at Pioneer Investment Management in Boston, which has about $220 billion in assets under management.

“Most people are thinking earnings are going to be weak due the strong dollar and lower oil prices and sluggish consumer spending due to the winter weather. But we’ll see. I’m sure there’ll be some positive surprises as well.”

Earnings Season

Among key companies expected to report this week are GE, Intel (INTC) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 80.61 points, or 0.45 percent, to 17,977.04, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) lost 9.63 points, or 0.46 percent, to 2,092.43 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 7.73 points, or 0.15 percent, to 4,988.25.

The Nasdaq briefly traded above 5,000 and came within 110 points of its all-time intraday high.

Apple (AAPL) shares slipped 0.2 percent to $126.85, reversing earlier gains that followed reports the Apple Watch may have received about a million orders in its debut.

Netflix (NFLX) shares rose 4.4 percent at $474.68. The video streaming company said Friday it was seeking to increase its share authorization by nearly 30 times as a possible first step towards a stock split.

Builders FirstSource (BLDR) shares jumped 67.7 percent to $11.57. The supplier of residential building products said it would buy privately held ProBuild Holdings for $1.63 billion in cash.

NYSE decliners outnumbered advancers 1,902 to 1,144, for a 1.66-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,408 issues fell and 1,309 advanced, for a 1.08-to-1 ratio.

The S&P 500 posted 24 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq composite recorded 104 new highs and 24 new lows.

About 5.4 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 6 billion daily average for the last five sessions, according to BATS Global Markets.


What to watch Tuesday:

At 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, the Labor Department releases the Producer Price Index for March, and the Commerce Department releases retail sales data for March.
The Commerce Department releases business inventories for February at 10 a.m.

These selected companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial results:

Fastenal (FAST)
Intel (INTC)
JPMorgan Chase (JPM)
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
Wells Fargo (WFC)

You probably want to have your own hammer, wrench and screwdriver on hand for those around-the-house projects that spring up, but there’s no reason to go out and buy a pricey piece of machinery you’ll only use once.

Power sanders, tile saws and post-hole diggers are essential for certain projects, but unless you’re an avid carpenter or a DIY enthusiast, chances are you won’t use them again anytime soon. Rather than buying them, rent them by the day from stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s.
1. Power tools

Once your class is over, you’ll no longer need the textbooks it requires. Why pay hundreds of dollars for them, especially when the campus bookstore will give you cents on the dollar when you try to sell them back?

College is expensive enough. Save some much-needed cash by checking out textbook rental sites like, and
2. Textbooks

Guys have no trouble renting a tuxedo for a wedding or formal event, but when it comes to evening gowns, most women pay top dollar for fancy dresses they only wear once or twice. Rent these dresses instead and you’ll not only save money; you’ll be able wear a different dress for every occasion without the guilt. Check out, and to rent prom dresses, evening gowns, accessories and more.
3. Special-occasion attire

The trouble with buying video games is they often cost a pretty penny, and you don’t know until you start playing the game whether or not you’ll love it. If you don’t, you’ll have a great time playing it through once or twice, and then it sits on a shelf collecting dust.

By choosing to rent your video games through a service like GameFly, you’re able to explore a wide range of titles to find which ones you like. If you love one, you can always buy it. If not, just drop it back in the mail and try the next one, no money lost.
4. Video games

Unless you’re a fanatic, chances are you need seasonal outdoor gear only once or twice a season, which hardly justifies the expense of buying and storing it year-round.

Rent backpacking and camping gear from stores like REI or websites like Rent jet skis and surfboards from beach vendors. Rent snowmobiles, skis and snowboards from local ski venues and resorts. Unless it’s something you plan on making a regular hobby, you’re better off renting.
5. Seasonal outdoor gear

Too many of us have a treadmill in our basement that we bought with the best of intentions, used regularly for about a week, and have since turned into a place to hang laundry while it’s drying.

Unless you’re an established home gym rat and know that that new elliptical, stationary bike or training unit won’t be just a passing fad, go the rental route through sites like and
6. Exercise equipment

Quit Your Job, Travel, and Live Remarkably
Stop Crying That There Are No Jobs. Create One.
The AirBnb Experiment: How Much Did I Make?

More from Paula Pant

Wall Street Rallies on Fed Rate Hike
Fed Raises Interest Rates, Cites Ongoing US Economic Recovery
US Aerospace Sector Poised for 2015 Record Trade Surplus: Group

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.