Stocks started out on a positive note Thursday but drifted lower as investors continued to keep their eyes on the ever-nearing fiscal cliff and earnings remained a mixed bag.
The markets’ early gains were fueled by a better-than-expected weekly report on initial jobless claims and a narrowing of the U.S. trade deficit in September that also pleasantly surprised.
However, momentum quickly was lost, and the Nasdaq led major indices with a 1.42% loss to 2,895.58, the S&P was off 1.22% to 1,377.51, and the Dow Jones finished down 0.94% at 12,811.32..
Weighing heavily on the S&P and Nasdaq was Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which fell another 3% on the day — the stock now has lost 30% since hitting a mid-September high of $705.
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) shares rose more than 4% after the company knocked Q4 earnings and revenue numbers out of the park. The company also provided investors with a rosy picture for full-year 2013.
McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) shares fell just under 2% after same-store sales fell in October, the first monthly decline in nine years. Meanwhile, Wendy’s (NASDAQ:WEN) reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the third quarter, but an increase in same-store sales gave investors hope, and shares gained 3% by the end of the day.
After the bell, daily-deals site Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) was getting slugged on poor third-quarter results. GRPN shares were down almost 18% in early after-hours trading. Disney (NYSE:DIS) also reported after the bell, but record revenues and earnings for Q4 weren’t enough to keep shares from sliding nearly 2%.
- Monster Worldwide (NYSE:MWW): Up 10.5% (60 cents) to $6.31.
- Loral (NASDAQ:LORL): Up 7.4% ($5.75) to $83.58.
- Dillard’s (NYSE:DDS): Up 3.8% ($3.07) to $83.88.
- Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN): Down 10% (94 cents) to $8.48.
- Krispy Kreme (NYSE:KKD): Down 8.2% (62 cents) to $6.98.
- Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS): Down 7% ($3.82) to $50.79.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long AAPL.