Dow falls on weak P&G results; Nasdaq up

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Dow was dragged lower by weak Procter & Gamble results on Thursday, but the Nasdaq gained as food giant Mondelez raised its forecast after better-than-expected earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 5.41 points (0.03 per cent) to 17,745.98.

The broad-based S&P 500 was essentially flat, adding 0.06 at 2,108.63, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 17.05 (0.33 per cent) to 5,128.59.

Dow member Procter & Gamble sank 4 per cent after reporting the sixth straight quarter of declining sales.

But Mondelez advanced 5 per cent as it projected a 3 per cent increase in 2015 sales, up from the prior forecast for a 2 per cent rise.

Other Nasdaq names to gain included Amazon (+1.5 per cent), Gilead Sciences (+1.9 per cent) and Netflix (+4.2 per cent).

US gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 2.3 per cent in the April-June period, the Commerce Department reported, slightly below the 2.5 per cent consensus estimate.

However, Commerce revised up its estimate on the first quarter to growth of 0.6 per cent from a 0.2 per cent contraction.

Facebook fell 2.1 per cent after reporting second-quarter net profit declined 9 per cent to US$715 million (S$983 million) despite a 39 per cent surge in revenues to US$4.04 billion due to a strong performance in mobile advertising. The results bested expectations. Facebook shares have been hovering near all-time highs.

Pharmaceuticals distributor McKesson fell 4.2 per cent after reporting that profits rose 42.9 per cent to US$576 million. Deutsche Bank said comments from company executives suggest weaker than expected profits from generic drug sales.

Whole Foods Market sank 11.6 per cent as it forecast earnings for the current quarter of 34-35 cents per share, three cents below analyst expectations. Executives said sales had been dented after it acknowledged overcharging customers in New York City stores.

Western Digital, which makes computer hard drives, surged 9.8 per cent after earnings for the quarter ending July 3 came in at US$220 million, down 30.5 per cent from last year. The results were "not as bad as feared," Deutsche Bank said.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.27 per cent from 2.28 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year dropped to 2.95 per cent from 2.99 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.