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Business & Technology

Pfizer, others weigh down Dow

April 30th, 2013 11:06 am by MATTHEW CRAFT, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Weak earnings from Pfizer and other companies dragged down major market indexes Monday, pulling the Standard & Poor's 500 back from a record high.


Pfizer's stock dropped 3 percent after the drug maker's results fell short of what analysts had expected, a result of currency movements and falling sales. The world's second-largest drug maker also cut its profit forecast for the rest of the year.


Pfizer lost 80 cents to $29.63, among the biggest drops in the Dow Jones industrial average. Shortly after 10 a.m., the Dow was down 71 points at 14,748, a loss of 0.5 percent.


The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,589. The index closed at a record high the day before.


The Nasdaq composite index slipped three points to 3,305, or 0.08 percent.


Pitney Bowes dropped 15 percent after the maker of mailing equipment and software cut its dividend in half and posted a 58 percent drop in net income. Pitney Bowes sank $2.45 to $13.75.


Avon Products' quarterly loss wasn't as deep as analysts had expected. The direct-seller of cosmetics has been cutting staff and scaling back operations in an effort to turn around its business. Avon's stock rose $1.12 to $23.37, a gain of 5 percent.


This earnings season has been a mixed bag. More than half of the companies in the S&P 500 have turned in results, and seven of 10 have beaten analysts' estimates for earnings, according to S&P Capital IQ. Nearly as many, however, have come up short on revenue: Six of 10 have missed analysts' revenue targets. That suggests companies are getting more of their profits from laying off staff and other cost-cutting efforts instead of from higher sales.


In the market for U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped to its low for the year, 1.65 percent. That's down from 1.67 percent late Monday.


In response to slower economic growth, bond traders from around the world have been buying Treasurys this month, driving yields down. The 10-year yield started April trading around 1.85 percent.

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