* Indexes on track to break three-week streak of losses
* UPS shares fall after outlook, FedEx also lower
* Materials sector drags after Goldman notes
* Credit Suisse cuts Exxon to ‘underperform’
* Dow down 0.5 pct, S&P 500 off 0.35 pct, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct (Updates to afternoon trading)
By Lucas Iberico Lozada
NEW YORK, Jan 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell modestly on Friday, pressured by underwhelming corporate news including guidance from economic activity bellwether UPS, which offset optimism triggered by the European Central Bank’s decision to stimulate euro zone growth.
Materials shares weighed on the S&P 500, falling 1.3 percent in afternoon trading. Goldman cut its price target on Freeport McMoRan by 42 percent to $18 and cut prices on other miners, and separately slashed forecasts on commodity prices including aluminum, copper and nickel.
UPS was the largest drag on the S&P 500, followed closely by Exxon Mobil. On Friday Credit Suisse cut Exxon to “underperform.”
A jump in Starbucks shares on the back of strong quarterly earnings results helped partly offset losses.
Declines were capped, moreover, by bullish investor sentiment after Thursday’s move from the European Central Bank, which detailed a bigger-than-expected bond-buying program to lift the region’s sagging economy and fight deflation.
Major U.S. indices are on track to post gains for the first week in four.
“From where we’re sitting, we’re sensing continuation (from last year), the trend is still the upside,” said Gordon Charlop, a managing director at Rosenblatt Securities in New York. “The corrections and the volatility will be a little more pronounced, a little more dramatic, but the trend remains intact.”
At 3:29 p.m. EST (2029 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average fell 92.99 points, or 0.52 percent, to 17,720.99, the S&P 500 lost 7.29 points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,055.86 and the Nasdaq Composite added 9.74 points, or 0.21 percent, to 4,760.14.
UPS gave a fourth-quarter earnings outlook that was below expectations, citing a disappointing performance in U.S. domestic ground shipments. Shares slumped 9.6 percent to $103.30.
Oil major Exxon’s shares fell 1.8 percent to $91.22.
With 18 percent of S&P 500 companies having reported, 72.2 percent have topped earnings expectations, while 54.4 percent have beaten on revenue, according to Thomson Reuters data. That compares with the long-term average of 63 percent for earnings and 61 percent for revenue.
Starbucks rose 6.3 percent to $87.98 a day after the coffee chain reported same-store sales growth that was better than expected in its Americas region.
GoPro shares jumped 7.2 percent to $51.85 after a partnership with the U.S. National Hockey League paved the way for players to wear GoPro cameras during league games.
So far this week, the Dow is up 1.3 percent, the S&P 500 is up 1.7 percent and the Nasdaq is up 2.6 percent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,603 to 1,441, for a 1.11-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,446 issues fell and 1,257 advanced for a 1.15-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 73 new 52-week highs and 6 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 87 new highs and 51 new lows. (Reporting by Lucas Iberico Lozada; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)