Stocks Start Lower as Earnings Disappoint

U.S. stocks declined in the early trading on Friday as investors signal displeasure over lackluster earnings from GE, McDonald’s and Honeywell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 96.65 points, or 0.71%, to  13,452.29. The S&P 500 index shed 7.99 points, or 0.55%, to 1,449.35. The Nasdaq Composite lost 20.16 points, or 0.66%, to 3,052.71.

General Electric Co. (GE)  notched an 8.3 percent rise in quarterly earnings. Third-quarter net income increased to $3.49 billion, or 33 cents per share, from $3.22 billion, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier. Factoring out one-time items, the profit was 36 cents per share, meeting the analysts’ average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.Revenue rose 2.8 percent to $36.35 billion from $35.36 billion. Wall Street expected $36.94 billion.

McDonald’s (MCD) reported profits that were less than Wall Street expectations though revenues actually were higher. The company reported third-quarter earnings excluding items of $1.43 a share, below last year’s $1.45 per share and beneath the analyst target of $1.47. Revenue edged higher to $7.2 billion from $7.17 billion a year ago.

Diversified U.S. manufacturer Honeywell International Inc (HON) reported a 10 percent rise in quarterly earnings as declining natural gas prices helped boost profits at its UOP chemical arm, offsetting weakness in Europe. Its third- quarter earnings came to $950 million, or $1.20 per share, compared with $862 million, or $1.10 per share, a year earlier.

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