Markets indexes head to slight losses as more US companies turn in earnings reports

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FILE - This Oct. 2, 2014 photo shows a Wall Street sign adjacent to the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. U.S. stocks are wavering in early trading more big companies turn in earnings reports. Markets in Asia surged on optimism over recent reforms in China, on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)


NEW YORK — Major U.S. stock indexes are mostly lower Tuesday as big companies turned in a mixed batch of earnings results. Markets in Asia surged.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 90 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,941 as of 2:08 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell five points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,096, while the Nasdaq composite climbed 19 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,014.

TAKING IT ALL IN: "It seems the market is in a holding pattern as investors are waiting to see just how much the dollar impacts corporate earnings," said Russell Price, Ameriprise Financial's senior economist. "So far, things are a bit better than expected, but we'll see how it plays out."

RESULTS: DuPont, the chemical giant, said the rising dollar hit its results in the first quarter as earnings and sales shrunk. The chemical giant also lowered its forecast for full-year profits, and its stock fell $2.15, or 3 percent, to $70.70.

WEAKNESS IN STRENGTH: The strong dollar has been a drag on corporate profits in two ways: It makes goods produced in the U.S. more expensive to foreign customers, and it diminishes the value of revenue collected in foreign currencies when U.S. corporations bring the money home. The rising dollar is a key reason analysts expect first-quarter corporate earnings will fall 2.4 percent, according to S&P Capital IQ.

CLEANING UP: Kimberly-Clark jumped 4 percent after the maker of Huggies diapers and paper products reported income and revenue that easily beat analysts' forecasts. Its stock surged $4.32 to $111.93.

GENERIC DEALS: Teva Pharmaceuticals proposed buying Mylan NV, another maker of generic drugs, for more than $40 billion in cash and stock. The offer depends on Mylan dropping its proposed acquisition of yet another drugmaker, Perrigo. Mylan's stock jumped $6.19, or 9 percent, to $74.23. Teva's rose 84 cents, or 1 percent, to $64.10.

LEAN HOGS: Harley-Davidson turned in quarterly sales that fell short of analysts' targets, and the motorcycle maker also cut its full-year forecast for shipments, blaming price cuts by its rivals. The company's stock fell $5.26, or 9 percent, to $56.50.

OVER THERE: Major markets in Europe continued their recent climb. Germany's DAX finished with a gain of 0.4 percent, while France's CAC-40 inched up 0.1 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.2 percent.

HK BOUNCE: Hong Kong stocks rebounded as investors shook off pessimism over mainland China's regulatory changes for investors piling into the Hong Kong market. Over the weekend, a regulator said that new measures to encourage short-selling were not meant as a crackdown.

ASIA'S DAY: Hong Kong's Hang Seng led a surge in Asian markets, jumping 2.8 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China added 1.8 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 1.4 percent, while South Korea's Kospi lost 0.1 percent.

ENERGY: U.S. crude oil fell 40 cents to $55.98 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, an international benchmark, fell 80 cents to $62.68 a barrel in London.

METALS: Gold rose $9.40 to settle at $1,203.10 an ounce, while silver rose 12 cents to $16.01 an ounce. Copper slipped 3 cents to $2.70 a pound.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note up to 1.91 percent. The euro rose to $1.0753 from $1.0741. The dollar rose to 119.59 yen from 119.31 yen.


AP Business Writer Kelvin Chan contributed to this story from Hong Kong.

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