Stocks dipped on Tuesday as talks to resolve Greece's debt crisis faltered and after some lackluster earnings reports, threatening a five-day winning streak.
Greece moved closer to the possibility of a chaotic default after euro zone officials rejected a final offer from the country's private bondholders. The country's private creditors pleaded with European officials to hammer together a deal.
They don't seem that far apart, I don't think anyone is really discounting that is going to blow up. At this point, people think they are going to come to some resolution. They have to get the pin back in the hand grenade somehow, said Stephen Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 44.16 points, or 0.35 percent, at 12,664.66. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 3.76 points, or 0.29 percent, at 1,312.24. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 1.00 points, or 0.04 percent, at 2,783.17.
Developments in Greece overshadowed solid, but largely unspectacular corporate earnings. This week marks one of the busiest in the fourth-quarter earnings season.
According to the latest Thomson Reuters data, 20 percent of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings, with 58 percent topping Wall Street expectations, less than usual at this point in the earnings season.
Verizon Communications Inc
Travelers posted a smaller-than-estimated profit as it released less money from its reserves than a year earlier, but it also reported its biggest rate increases in eight years. The stock fell 3.6 percent to $58.10, but analysts expected the drop and called it a buying opportunity.
Verizon's profit missed estimates by a penny as its wireless business was hit by the high costs of sales of advanced phones such as the Apple Inc
McDonald's reported stronger-than-expected December sales, but its shares fell on investor concerns its profit may have beat expectations only because of income not related to its operations.
McDonald's fell 1.9 percent to $99, and Verizon shed 1.7 percent to $37.75.
Traders said they were impressed by the market's continued ability to shrug off bad news. A five-day run has helped put the benchmark S&P index up more than 4 percent for the year.
Results from some other large U.S. corporations, including DuPont
Obviously (Greece) is a pall over the market, these earnings numbers weren't that great this morning, but the way the market acts right now you could see it close up on the day. It just doesn't act that bad, said Massocca.
DuPont shares edged up 0.5 percent to $49.58 after its quarterly revenue rose 14 percent but missed estimates.
Johnson & Johnson
The Federal Open Market Committee has begun a two-day meeting and will also start a new practice of announcing policymakers' interest rate projections when the meeting ends on Wednesday in a move it hopes will bring greater public clarity to its decision-making.
(Reporting By Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)