US STOCKS-Wall St falls on earnings, but indexes well off lows

martes 27 de enero de 2015 15:19 GYT

* Durable goods data sharply below expectations

* Caterpillar, Microsoft shares slide after results

* Indexes down: Dow 1.4 pct, S&P 1 pct, Nasdaq 1.4 pct (Updates to afternoon trading)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Jan 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell in a broad decline on Tuesday, with the Dow seeing outsized losses after several blue chip components' results pointed to weakening conditions, while an unexpected decline in durable goods orders also weighed on sentiment.

Tech shares were the big drag on the day, falling 2.4 percent in their biggest one-day drop since October, in the wake of results from industry bellwether Microsoft. Industrial shares also underperformed, led by a decline in Caterpillar.

The two names were the biggest decliners on the Dow, but fellow components Procter & Gable and Du Pont Co also tumbled on the day. Only one component of the 30-stock index, Johnson & Johnson, was in positive territory.

Microsoft fell 8.5 percent to $43 a day after the main engine of its historic earnings power - selling Windows and Office to big businesses - showed signs of waning. Heavy machinery marker Caterpillar gave an outlook below expectations, warning that the recent plunge in oil prices would hurt its energy equipment business. Shares dropped 7.5 percent to $79.56.

"There's clearly a lot of froth baked into certain areas of tech, while Caterpillar is giving tangible evidence that things can go down more than they already have," said Jim O'Donnell, chief investment officer at Forward in San Francisco.   Continuación...