(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks were little changed as investors assessed earnings from companies including Coach Inc., International Business Machines Corp. and Motorola Solutions Inc.
Coach, the largest U.S. luxury handbag maker, slumped 7.9 percent after sales missed analysts’ estimates. IBM slid 4.6 percent as revenue declined for a seventh consecutive quarter amid weaker demand for servers. Motorola lost 2.9 percent after forecasting first-quarter profit below analyst estimates.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.1 percent to 1,845.27 at 9:33 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 22.67 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,391.77 today.
“Earnings are all that matters,” Dan Morris, who helps oversee about $564 billion as global investment strategist at TIAA-CREF Asset Management in New York, said in a phone interview. “To see the justification for meaningful higher prices, we just need to wait for earnings to catch up and accelerate a bit and that may take a quarter or two.”
Twenty-five companies in the S&P 500 including Northern Trust Corp., Netflix Inc. and EBay Inc. report earnings today. Of the 81 index members that posted results so far this season, 70 percent have beaten estimates for profit and 64 percent have exceeded sales projections, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The five-year rally has lifted the S&P 500 up more than 170 percent since March 2009. The U.S. equity benchmark trades at 15.6 times the estimated earnings of its members, more than the five-year average multiple of 14.1, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“The market looks to be running on the spot and not moving ahead, and understandably so, given the good run last year,” said Manish Singh, who helps oversee $2 billion as head of investments at Crossbridge Capital in London. “Company earnings have to come in and surprise us positively to justify a move hig