U.S. stocks fell on Friday, with the Dow slipping below the 10,000 mark as industrial companies' weak results overshadowed robust earnings from tech heavy-weights.
The energy and materials sectors suffered as a stronger U.S. dollar hit commodity prices, while an analyst's comments on a major railroad stock hurt the transportation sector.
Shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp
The U.S. dollar strengthened after data showed the UK posted its sixth straight quarter of contraction in gross domestic product, the longest stretch on record, and better-than-expected U.S. housing data gave the greenback an extra boost.
A stronger dollar helped to push oil and commodity prices lower, sending shares of companies in the energy and materials sectors down. The S&P materials sector <.GSPM> fell 2.2 percent.
Any time the dollar shows signs of life, the stock market goes down. There's a flight to safety, said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.
The (weak) UK GDP gave strength to the dollar. And when the dollar is up, oil falls.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 129.61 points, or 1.29 percent, at 9,951.70. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 15.04 points, or 1.38 percent, to 1,077.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 10.66 points, or 0.49 percent, to 2,154.63.
ROUGH RIDE ON THE RAILROAD
Burlington Northern shares fell 6.9 percent to $78.79 a day after the company reported a 30 percent drop in quarterly profit. The company hauls a variety of commodities such as coal, grain, lumber, construction materials, automobiles and consumer goods.
An analyst at RBC Capital cut his price target on Burlington Northern's stock to $87 from $91, while he kept his rating at underperform.
Shares of the top U.S. railroad Union Pacific Corp
Oilfield services company Schlumberger Ltd
U.S. crude oil futures fell 69 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $80.50 a barrel. The S&P energy sector index <.GSPE> slid 2.1 percent.
Top decliners in the tech sector included Broadcom Corp
An index of semiconductors <.SOXX> lost 2.9 percent.
But the Nasdaq's losses were limited after major earnings beats from Microsoft Corp
Earlier in the day, September data showed sales of previously owned U.S. homes surged to their highest level since July 2007.
(Additional reporting by Aarthi Sivaraman)
(Editing by Jan Paschal)