July 26, 2016 / 3:57 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Weak earnings weigh on Wall Street; Fed awaited

* FOMC begins two-day meeting on Tuesday

* Apple set to report results after market close

* McDonald’s, Verizon fall on weak results

* Indexes down: Dow 0.42 pct, S&P 0.24 pct, Nasdaq 0.1 pct (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

July 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday after weak results from a number of companies, including McDonald’s and Gilead, dented investor sentiment.

Investors are awaiting Apple’s earnings later in the day and the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting on interest rates that ends on Wednesday.

The central bank is not expected to pull the trigger on interest rates in the near term as inflation remains below its 2 percent target and global growth continues to sputter.

Traders have priced in an 18.7 percent chance of a rate increase in September and a 42.8 percent chance in December, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

“Investors have had the opportunity to drink from a fire hydrant of information,” said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank.

“But the appetite is likely to increase when markets close today and after the Fed’s comments on interest rates tomorrow.”

Strong economic data and a string of strong quarterly results so far have spurred Wall Street’s record-setting rally in the past two weeks.

Of the 129 S&P 500 companies that reported earnings until Monday, about 68 percent topped analysts’ estimates. In a typical quarter, 63 percent of companies beat expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data.

At 11:24 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 77.63 points, or 0.42 percent, at 18,415.43.

The S&P 500 was down 5.28 points, or 0.24 percent, at 2,163.2.

The Nasdaq Composite index was down 4.85 points, or 0.1 percent, at 5,092.78.

Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by a 1.25 percent drop in the telecom services index. Verzion shares fell 2 percent after the company reported a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly revenue.

McDonald’s dropped 4.4 percent to $121.76, after the restaurant chain’s comparable sales missed analysts’ expectations. The stock weighed the most on the Dow.

Gilead fell 8 percent after the drugmaker cut its full-year sales forecast, attracting a host of price target cuts. The stock was the top loser on the S&P and the Nasdaq.

One bright spot was Texas Instruments, which rose 6 percent after its current-quarter forecast beat analysts’ estimates. The stock provided the biggest boost to the S&P.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,552 to 1,278. On the Nasdaq, 1,417 issues rose and 1,251 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 47 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 90 new highs and 16 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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