Stocks Turned Negative in the Early Trading

U.S. stocks pare opening gains and turned negative in the early morning on Tuesday as lower growth forecasts from the International Monetary Fund spurred hopes that central banks would take more aggressive policy stances to accelerate economic improvement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 91.10 points, or 0.52%, to 17,420.47. The S&P 500 was down 7.14 points, or 0.35%, to 2,012.28. The Nasdaq Composite lost 11.77 points, or 0.25%, to 4,622.61.

The IMF lowered its forecasts for global economic growth in both 2015 and 2016, projecting a 3.5 percent advance this year and 3.7 percent next year. Both forecasts are down by 0.3 percentage points. The IMF advised advanced economies to maintain accommodative monetary policies to avoid increases in real interest rates as cheaper oil increases the risk of deflation.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), the world’s biggest maker of health-care products, forecast lower earnings in 2015 as competition cuts into revenue for some of its best-selling drugs. Adjusted profit this year will reach $6.12 to $6.27 a share.

Delta Air Lines Inc said on Tuesday it lost $712 million in the fourth quarter largely due to fuel hedge settlements.The airline earned $649 million, or 78 cents per diluted share, excluding special items, compared with the average analyst estimate of 77 cents per diluted share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Schlumberger will spend about $1.7 billion for a minority stake in a big Russian energy company at a time when that country’s relations with the West are under strain and as energy prices hit multiyear lows.

Michaels Cos. on Tuesday projected a strong 3.5% increase in sales in its January quarter–its first holiday season since going public in June. For the period ended Jan. 17, the arts-and-crafts retailer expects to post net sales of about $1.6 billion. Same-store sales are expected to increase 1.5% from the prior year.

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