Stocks declined Wednesday after a weak durable-goods report and disappointing earnings report from Boeing.
Boeing was the biggest drag on the Dow after the aerospace giant reported its profit fell in the latest quarter amid lower commercial-plane deliveries and defense revenue and higher taxes. The company also issued a disappointing outlook.
American Express and Home Depot were among the Dow's early gainers.
Orders for long-lasting goods such as cars and refrigerators unexpectedly fell 1 percent in June; economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a 1-percent increase.
Earlier, a separate report showed mortgage applications fell 4.4 percent last week amid a drop in refinancing as interest rates rose. Loan requests for new homes actually rose for the week but remained mired around 13-year lows, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported.
Financials declined after Moody's lowered its outlookon Bank of America , Citigroup and Wells Fargo to "negative" from "stable," citing lower government support for financial institutions with the new regulations. The negative outlook increases the chances of the companies' credit ratings being downgraded over the next 12 to 18 months.
The latest batch of earnings was a mixed bag.
Sprint Nextel reported a wider first quarter loss but saw fewer bill-paying customers leave the company, sending shares up.
And ConocoPhillipsbeat earnings expectationsand said it's selling its stake in Lukoil.
Comcast reported its profit fell nearly 9 percent amid charges from its pending acquisition of CNBC parent NBC Universal from GE , but revenue rose amid an improvement in advertising and demand for premium-television services like pay-per-view and digital-television packages.
Broadcom shares rose after the companybeat on both earnings and revenueamid strong demand for its chips, which are used in everything from mobile phones to broadband equipment. But the company said third-quarter margins wouldn't change even as it projects revenue growth.
Search engine giant Google is in talks with various game companies to develop a rival for social networking site Facebook, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares was higher in early trade, helped by strong corporate results as the earnings season in Europe gets into full swing.
The global economic recovery is set to continue despite signs of slowing momentum, a senior International Monetary Fund official said on Tuesday.
Still to Come:
WEDNESDAY: 5-yr note auction; Beige Book; Earnings from Visa after the bell
THURSDAY: Weekly jobless claims; 7-yr note auction; Microsoft analyst meeting; Earnings from: AstraZeneca, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Kellogg, Motorola and Amgen
FRIDAY: First release of 2Q GDP; employment cost index; Chicago PMI; consumer sentiment; Earnings from: Chevron and Merck
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