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Weak Earnings Send Market Sliding Downward

Disappointing earnings from several big United States companies put investors in a selling mood on Tuesday, giving the stock market its first broad decline in four days.

IBM and United Technologies were among the companies whose latest quarterly report cards fell short of Wall Street’s expectations or included dimmer outlooks. Telecommunications stocks were among the biggest decliners.

Traders have been focusing on the health of corporate America to get a read on how the global economy is doing. Only about 12 percent of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index have reported earnings so far.

“Investors appear to be in a listen-only mode as we await greater clarity on second-quarter results,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “Our belief is that equities still grind higher, but we’re in a sideways-trending mode here into August and perhaps even in the early part of September as well.”

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 181.12 points, or 1 percent, to 17,919.29. The S.&P. 500 index lost 9.07 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,119.21. The Nasdaq slid 10.74 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,208.12.

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Position of the Nasdaq Composite Index at 1-minute intervals on Tuesday.

Nine of the 10 sectors in the S.&P. 500 index declined, led by a 1.7 percent drop in telecommunications stocks. Energy stocks rose slightly.

Stocks headed lower early on Tuesday as investors reacted to IBM’s latest quarterly results, released late Monday. The market stayed in the red the rest of the day.

IBM delivered better-than-expected earnings, but its revenue fell short of financial analysts’ forecasts. The stock dropped $ 10.15, or 5.9 percent, to $ 163.07.

United Technologies reported earnings on Tuesday that also didn’t meet forecasts. The aerospace company cut its outlook for 2015, citing weaker sales of Otis elevators in Europe and China’s slowing economy. The stock lost $ 7.77, or 7 percent, to $ 102.71.

Verizon topped second-quarter expectations as it signed up more wireless customers. The company said it added 1.1 million wireless “postpaid” customers, which tend to have better credit and stay with carriers longer than prepaid customers. That’s down from 1.4 million in the same period one year ago. Shares fell $ 1.13, or 2.4 percent, to $ 46.97.

GoPro reported second-quarter net income of $ 35 million, or a profit of 24 cents a share, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. Shares rose 2 percent.

Chipotle stock fell after it reported sales growth that fell short of Wall Street expectations. The company said sales rose 4.3 percent at established locations during the second quarter, but analysts on average expected growth of 5.7 percent, according to FactSet. Its stock fell 5 percent to $ 639 in after-hours trading before rising again.

Harley-Davidson shares surged 5 percent after the motorcycle maker’s second-quarter earnings beat Wall Street expectations. The stock added $ 2.73 to $ 57.67.

“The market is being cautious, waiting for a little more direction,” said Ian Kerrigan, global investment specialist at J. P. Morgan Private Bank. “There are people who are taking some gains out there and waiting a little while to see what happens with Greece, what happens with China, what happens with the Fed.”

About 60 percent of the companies in the S.&P. 500 report over the next two weeks.

In energy futures trading, benchmark United States crude rose 21 cents to close at $ 50.36 a barrel in New York. Brent crude climbed 39 cents to close at $ 57.04 a barrel in London.

Precious and industrial metals futures ended mixed. Gold fell $ 3.30, to $ 1,103.40 an ounce; silver rose 2 cents, to $ 14.77 an ounce; and copper dropped less than a penny, to $ 2.48 a pound.

United States government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.33 percent from 2.38 percent late Monday.

Among other stocks making big moves Tuesday, LifeLock plunged 49.3 percent after the Federal Trade Commission accused the identity theft protection company of misleading customers about the level of protection and the timeliness of the warnings they will receive. The company said it was prepared to defend itself in court. The stock slid $ 7.91, to $ 8.15.

Chesapeake Energy fell 9.5 percent on news that the energy company has stopped its annual dividend and will redirect the money into its 2016 capital spending program. The move comes as natural gas and crude are in an extended decline with few signs of a rebound. The stock lost 98 cents, to $ 9.29.

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