The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor's 500 indexes fell on Wednesday after setting new highs a day earlier as the latest earnings report season kicked off with lower profit expectations and news from blue-chip companies raising concern among investors.
Aluminum company Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA), a part of the 30-stock Dow Index, reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, sending shares down 99 cents, or 2.5 percent to $38.73. The company said sales dropped 3.2 percent.
Citing assembly difficulties, another Dow component, Airplane maker Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) announced it would delay delivery of its first eagerly anticipated 787 Dreamliner jet for six months, pushing shares lower by 2.7 percent, or $2.77 to $98.68, the firmâ€™s steepest drop since August.
The largest seed maker, Monsanto Co (NYSE: MON) also fell after reporting a bigger loss below analyst estimates. Shares fell 74 cents to $88.78, two cents lower than an expected loss of 16 cents per share.
The Dow fell 85.84 points, or 0.61 percent, to close at 14,078.69. The S&P 500 fell 2.68 points, or 0.17 percent to 1,562.47. However the technology heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 7.70 points, or 0.27 percent to end at 2,811.61
Meanwhile, the largest U.S. pet supply firm, Petsmart, Inc (NASDAQ:PETM) cut its third quarter same-store sales outlook on soft consumer spending and unfavorable weather, sending shares down 4.1 percent to $31.06. The company said full-year profit would be in the range of $2.02 to $2.07, below an earlier forecast of $2.08 to $2.10
In the retail sector, top U.S. warehouse club firm Costco Wholesale Corp (NASDAQ:COST) saw its shares hit an all-time high, rising $5.82, or 9.2 percent to $69.13 after the firm reported that fourth quarter profit increased 4.7 percent on stronger food and consumer electronics sales
In other earnings news, a lower profit outlook from International Paper Co. (NYSE:IP) sent its stock down $2.37 percent. Chevron's expectations of earnings significantly below last quarter's $5.4 billion take triggered a 0.78 percent slump in its share price.