Commodity, health-care and telephone helped lead declines in the 10 main industry groups in the S&P 500.
Akamai Technologies Inc. tumbled after its quarterly revenue and forecast missed estimates amid signs of softening demand for the company’s services, which help customers such as news sites and Web retailers speed up their online offerings. Scripps Networks Interactive, owner of television stations and Web sites, slid after earnings and revenue trailed analysts’ estimates.
Apple Inc. advanced after saying it is in talks about returning more cash to shareholders. Greenlight Capital Inc. sued to try to block Apple Inc. from adopting a measure at its Feb. 27 shareholder meeting that would amend the company’s charter to eliminate preferred stock. The company said it will evaluate Greenlight’s proposal.
Worker productivity, the measure of employee output per hour, decreased at a 2% annual rate, the worst performance in almost two years, after a 3.2% gain in the prior three months, a Labor Department report showed. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 63 economists called for a 1.4% drop. Expenses per worker increased at a 4.5% rate, more than estimated.
Claims for U.S. unemployment insurance payments fell 5,000 to 366,000 in the week ended Feb. 2, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 360,000 claims, according to the median of 53 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
About two stocks fell for each that rose in the Stoxx 600. Sanofi slid 4% as the French drugmaker forecast that profit may drop as much as 5% this year because of competition to a blood-thinning drug from generic medicines. later this year amid a continued accommodative policy.
Vodafone Group Plc contributed the most to gains by a gauge of telecommunications shares after reiterating its forecast for the year through March. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA advanced for a third day. DNB ASA climbed to its highest price since June 2011 after increasing its dividend.
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