NEW YORK: The stock market finished pretty much where it started Wednesday as a mixed bag of earnings from big-name American companies left investors uninspired.
The Dow closed down 43.16 points, or 0.3 percent, at 14,676.30. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index — the market’s most widely used barometer — was flat at 1,578.79.
The Nasdaq composite edged up 0.32 point at 3,269.55. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks fared better. It rose 0.5 percent, or 4.75 points, to 934.11.
The Dow was held back by big drops in Procter & Gamble and AT&T.
P&G issued a weak quarterly profit forecast and AT&T lost subscribers from its contract-based plans for the first time.
But other companies impressed investors and boosted their stock prices with strong quarterly earnings: Defense contractor General Dynamics and airplane maker Boeing easily beat expectations from financial analysts.
“Overall, the earnings environment is very lackluster, for want of a better word,” said Robbert van Batenburg, director of market strategy at Newedge.