US stocks drop on mixed earnings, higher bond yields

VIDEO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks retreated on Thursday (April 19) following mixed corporate earnings reports as a jump in Treasury bond yields revived worries about higher interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.3 per cent to end trading at 24,664.89.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.6 per cent to close at 2,693.13, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.8 per cent to 7,238.06.

Analysts have been generally upbeat on first-quarter earnings and many companies have exceeded expectations.

But a weak outlook from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing hit investor sentiment because the company is a supplier to Apple, which fell 2.8 percent.

Analysts also cited the rise in the yield of the 10-year US Treasury bond as a concern, along with the lofty state of the equity market after gains earlier in the week.

"Many look at the market overall and suggest maybe the market is overbought again and it needs to take a breather," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Annuities.

Consumer product giant Procter & Gamble, a Dow member company, lost 3.2 per cent after reporting another round of lacklustre earnings due in large part to pricing pressure from Amazon and other retailers.

Other consumer stocks also were punished, including Clorox, which tumbled 6 per cent, and Colgate-Palmolive and Kimberly-Clark, which shed more than 2 per cent.

Phillip Morris International plunged 14.4 per cent as it gave a cautious outlook, citing tough pricing environment in Russia and weak sales of new smoking gadgets in Japan, among other factors.

Mattel dropped 3.2 per cent following a report that chief executive Margaret Georgiadis was in talks to leave the struggling toy maker. Mattel announced Georgiadis was stepping down shortly after the market closed.