US STOCKS-Wall St mixed as lackluster earnings offset biotech M&A bid

martes 21 de abril de 2015 13:26 GYT

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* Dow off 0.33 pct, S&P down 0.05 pct, Nasdaq up 0.47 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Noel Randewich

April 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were mixed on Tuesday, with the Dow industrials pulled down by a handful of uninspiring earnings reports, while the Nasdaq was pushed higher by a proposed biotech merger.

Travelers, DuPont and IBM shares weighed most on the Dow. DuPont reported lower sales in all of its businesses and said a strong dollar would take a toll on its full-year earnings. IBM also mentioned currency effects when it reported a fall in revenue late on Monday.

DuPont was down 2.97 percent at $70.67 and IBM fell 0.85 percent to $164.74.

March-quarter earnings season is in full swing, with almost 73 percent of the S&P 500 components that have reported so far beating bottom-line expectations, but just 42.2 percent beating expectations for revenue, suggesting that businesses are struggling to expand.

"Top-line growth is still a struggle," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co. "If that continues into the second quarter, that would be a problem. It tells you the economy is not doing that well."   Continuación...