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Dow falls 128, with Chevron and Alcoa leading way

Associated Press Modified: October 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm •  Published: October 10, 2012
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Alcoa's earnings report marks the unofficial start to the quarterly earnings season, expected to be the worst in three years. Analysts project that companies in the S&P 500 will say third-quarter earnings shrank 1 percent compared with the same quarter of last year.

Ablin said investors need solid reasons to buy stocks now, given the stock market's strong run this year. "My sense is that, with these downbeat earnings announcements, there's not much around right now," he said.

Concerns over the global economy helped knock the Dow down 110 points on Tuesday. The International Monetary Fund trimmed its forecast for worldwide growth, saying that trouble in Europe and other developed regions has spread to faster-growing developing countries. The day before, the World Bank cut its estimate for growth in China, the world's second-largest economy behind the U.S., and countries across Asia.

For the week, the Dow and S&P 500 have each lost 1.9 percent, and the Nasdaq has lost 2.7 percent.

Among other companies making big moves Wednesday:

— Yum Brands jumped 8 percent, the top stock in the S&P 500 index. The parent of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and other fast-food chains said results from China stores should remain strong, even as the Chinese economy slows. Yum gained $5.28 to $70.99.

— FedEx gained 5 percent, or $4.41 to $89.99. The world's second-biggest package delivery company unveiled a restructuring plan Monday aimed at raising profits by $1.7 billion within three years. FedEx promised to shed jobs and underused aircraft.

— Costco posted stronger sales and earnings than forecast as more people signed up to buy the company's diapers and groceries in bulk. Costco's stock gained $1.92 to $101.56.

— Toyota Motor Corp. dropped $1.56 to $74.50 after the carmaker recalled a total of 7.4 million vehicles worldwide for a for a faulty power-window switch, the latest in a series of recalls for Toyota. The recall announced Wednesday affects more than a dozen models produced from 2005 through 2010.