(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - N.America) US stocks were down sharply Friday, as several industry giants posted disappointing results on the 25th anniversary of the stock market crash of 1987.
Economic data and events in Europe were overshadowed by quarterly results from corporate heavy hitters.
The Dow was lately tumbling 170 points to 13,379, the Nasdaq was lower by 60 points to 3,013, and the S&P 500 fell 19 points to 1,438.
Last night, Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) disappointed investors, as its shares dropped almost 3% after the software giant reported lower-than-expected quarterly results. The company reported a 22 per cent decline in first-quarter revenue, on a slowdown in PC demand ahead of its Windows 8 launch.
General Electric (NYSE:GE) reported a third-quarter profit of 3.49 billion, or 33 cents a share, up from 3.22 billion, or 22 cents, in the same period a year earlier. Operating earnings were 36 cents per share, meeting estimates. Revenue of 36.35 billion missed Wall Street's expectations, however, as foreign exchange rates hurt revenue by around 1.1 billion.
Honeywell (NYSE:HON) said earnings rose 10 per cent in the third quarter, though revenue was almost flat from the prior year period. Margins improved, but the company cut its profit outlook for the full year.
McDonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD) shares fell 3.8% after the world's largest burger chain said third-quarter profit fell 3% to 1.46 billion, or 1.43 a share, from 1.51 billion, or 1.45 a share, in the year-ago period. Currency translations impacted the latest quarter's results by 8 cents a share.
Revenue fell to 7.15 billion from 7.17 billion. Wall Street analysts expected McDonald's to earn 1.47 a share on sales of about 7.17 billion.
On the economic front, existing home sales in September fell 1.7 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75 million, from a 7.8% rise the prior month.
The data from the National Association of Realtors was in line with expectations, with the report showing declines in all regions except the South.
Meanwhile, in Europe, the leaders of the 17-nation euro zone on Friday agreed on a timetable for their banking supervising body. The new system, to be headed by the European Central Bank, is expected to begin January 1, 2014 - a year later than planned - and will cover all 6,000 Euro-area banks. There are still no details of yet on how the bank losses should be shared.
Spain has still not requested any formal aid at the EU summitt underway, with the country seemingly waiting until EU leaders approve the banking supervision process.
Gold for December delivery dropped 26 to 1,719 an ounce, while oil for November shed 2.01 to 90.08 per barrel.