July 16 - Summary: S&P 500 ends eight-day rally; Yahoo tops forecasts but next quarter could disappoint; Goldman shares fall despite easy beat; AT&T sets plan for frequent device upgrades. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Investors decide it's time to take a break from buying one day after the S&P 500 hit an eight-day winning streak. The losses, though, were minimal with financials giving back just a little of their recent run-up. After the close, Yahoo profits, ex-items, were in line. Sales were slightly ahead but its current quarter revenue forecast, excluding costs to drive eyeballs to its site, was at the low end of analysts' consensus. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs easily beat sales and profit targets. The Wall Street bank rolled-in enough dough before the bond market turmoil at the end of the quarter. Profits doubled, but Goldman is not vastly outperforming peers like it once did, says Reuters Breakingviews' Antony Currie. SOUNDBITE: ANTONY CURRIE, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They are basically in-line if you look compared to last year or the first quarter. Their equities trading is up or down compared to which you bank you look at a little bit, but not much." And that may be one reason why an initial pop in the stock gave way to a 1.7 percent drop. Coca-Cola missed forecasts due to weakness around the globe, claiming weather had a lot to do with that. Hate that two-year smartphone contract - AT&T will let U.S. smartphone users upgrade their phone annually - but it's going to cost. Under that plan, the full price of the phone will be paid by the customer, no subsidy, and spread out in monthly payments. T-Mobile announced a similar plan and industry leader Verizon is expected to follow. When it comes to the economy: homebuilder sentiment jumped to a 7-1/2 year high, higher gasoline prices pumped up consumer inflation in June, and industrial production rose after not moving the month before. Auto sales in Europe had their worst first-half of the year in two decades. Autos was just one of the sectors leading to a down day for stock markets in the region.