The major averages took a breather following a two-day advance.

  • The Dow gave up 20 points to 15618. The S&P 500 Index declined 4 points to 1762. The NASDAQ gained 3 points to 3939.
  • Updates later this week on economic growth and employment overshadowed an unexpected increase in the ISM’s non-manufacturing index.
  • Earnings results garnered some attention. CVS Caremark’s 2.2% jump to $63.32 paced gains among consumer stocks as the company raised its full-year outlook. In technology, AOL rallied 8.5% to $42.00 and Cognizant Technology gained 3.1% to $89.52 after both companies topped earnings estimates. The telecommunications group was the worst performing sector. AT&T dropped 2.4% to $35.56 and Verizon fell 1.7% to $50.19. Utilities also lagged behind. FirstEnergy posted a sharp drop in third-quarter earnings and its shares declined 1.1% to $37.15. Notable profit tallies after the close include reports from CH Robinson, 21st Century Fox and Tesla Motors.
  • NYSE Composite volume totaled over 3.4 billion shares. On the NYSE, decliners beat advancers by 2-1 on issues and 5-2 on volume. The NASDAQ was 7-5 negative on issues and even on volume. Treasury prices fell for the fourth time in five days. The 10-year note lost 16/32 to yield 2.66% and the 30-year bond was down more than a full point to yield 3.76%.