STOCKS FALL: Here's what you need to know

Stocks trended lower through Tuesday in the thick of earnings season after companies reported mixed quarterly results.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 17,879.37, -221.04, (-1.22%)
  • S&P 500: 2,117.02, -11.26, (-0.53%)
  • Nasdaq: 5,207.87, -10.99, (-0.21%)

And now, the top stories on Tuesday:

  1. United Technologies shares suffered their biggest loss since the September 11 attacks after the company slashed its full-year earnings forecast on softness in its aerospace and Otis elevator divisions. The stock slipped more than 7%. Also, a “slowing China” prompted them to cut expectations. The company now expects earnings per share of $US6.45 to $US6.60. Sales from continuing operations are expected at $US57 billion to $US58 billion, down from a previous range of $US58 billion to $US59 billion.
  2. Baker Hughes expects to continue to feel the pain of the oil crash for the rest of the year. The oil driller posted second quarter earnings results with a grim outlook for the industry. Adjusted earnings per share came in at a loss of $US0.14, in line with expectations, while revenues declined 33% to $US4 billion, versus the forecast for $US3.78. “Looking ahead to the second half of 2015, we expect these unfavorable market dynamics to persist,” CEO Martin Craighead said. “In North America, we don’t anticipate activity to increase while commodity prices remain depressed as the seasonal activity rebound in Canada will likely be offset by a decline in the U.S.”
  3. Shares of cybersecurity company LifeLock plunged 40% to the weakest in over two years after the FTC said it violated a settlement they reached in 2010. In court documents, the FTC alleged that LifeLock did not adequately protect clients’ sensitive information including credit card and social security numbers. In a statement, LifeLock said it disagrees with the FTC’s claims and is prepared to go to court.
  4. IBM shares plunged 6%, weighing on the Dow, after the company released mixed quarterly results released on Monday afternoon. The company, which has now reported 13 consecutive quarters of revenue declines, posted a beat on profits. Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a note: “We see limited improvement in the underlying trends. We note that IBM software business has now declined for the past 12 months.”
  5. Chesapeake has suspended its dividends “due to the current commodity price environment for oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids, and the resulting reduction in capital available to invest in its high-quality assets,” according to CEO Doug Lawler in a statement. The stock fell more than 8% to a 12-year low of around $US9.41. The company expects to save $US240 million annually, and still has $US2 billion in unrestricted cash.
  6. Tesla slipped more than 5% after a UBS analyst said numbers on orders of its home batteries are overstated. Bloomberg estimated that Tesla took orders worth $US800 million. But according to UBS’ Colin Langan, “this pace is misleading as customers did not put down deposits, so these are just solicitations of interest. More importantly, early adopters (“green” consumers) likely are driving up initial orders …”
  7. Verizon added 1.1 million postpad subscribers in the second quarter. Revenues rose 2.4% to $US32.22 billion, and net income rose to $US4.23 billion, or $US1.04 per share, from $US4.21 billion, or $US1.02 per share, a year earlier.

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