U.S. stocks fluctuate amid earnings while dollar, oil advance

U.S. stocks fluctuated, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell from a record, as investors assessed corporate earnings and stimulus prospects. The dollar rose to a four-month high and European shares closed at a six- year best.

The S&P 500 lost 0.2% at 1:38 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4%, as American Express Co. rallied. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index added 0.3%, the highest since September. The yield on 10-year Treasuries dropped to the lowest in almost a month. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.6%. Portugal’s February 2016 note yield fell eight basis points to 2.35% after S&P removed the nation’s rating from “creditwatch.” Oil rose to a two-week high in New York.

Intel Corp.’s revenue forecast raised concern the personal- computer market is struggling to grow, while Morgan Stanley reported profit that beat estimates. U.S. housing starts slowed less than forecast and industrial output rose a fifth straight month. A gauge of consumer sentiment unexpectedly fell. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker repeated that policy makers are likely to consider more reductions to the pace of bond buying. U.S. markets are closed for a holiday on Jan. 20.

“Investors are taking cues from earnings releases,” Jim Russell, who helps oversee $113 billion as a senior equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management, said by phone. “Just as important as fourth-quarter earnings are, many investors are watching for company guidance for signs on what early 2014 will bring. This year, we’ll see a tearing between winners and losers and we’ve seen that in this earnings season so far.”

Seven companies in the S&P 500 reported financial results today. Per-share profit for companies in the benchmark probably climbed 6% in the fourth quarter, while sales increased 2%, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Intel Forecast

Intel lost 3.3% after the world’s largest chipmaker forecast first-quarter revenue that may fall short of some analysts’ estimates as corporate demand fails to reignite personal-computer sales.

United Parcel Service Inc. dropped 1.6% after the shipping company projected fourth-quarter earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates. The company missed delivering packages over the peak holiday shopping season.

General Electric slipped 2.7%. Profit margins at the manufacturing divisions expanded 60 basis points, according to a presentation posted on GE’s website. That fell short of guidance for 70 basis points of growth that the company first laid out in December 2012 and affirmed as recently as last month.

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