By Lucas Iberico Lozada
NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell modestly Friday, pressured by underwhelming corporate news including guidance from economic activity bellwether UPS and as materials stocks fell after bearish notes.
Major indexes, however, rose for the first week in four, boosted in part by the European Central Bank's decision Thursday to further stimulate euro zone growth.
Materials shares weighed on the S&P 500, falling 1.6 percent after Goldman Sachs (GS) cut its price target on various miners including a 42 percent downward revision to Freeport McMoRan (FCX) stock to $18. Goldman separately slashed forecasts on commodity prices including aluminum, copper and nickel.
UPS (UPS) was among the largest drags on the S&P 500 after a gloomy outlook, alongside Exxon Mobil (XOM). On Friday Credit Suisse (CS) cut Exxon to "underperform."
%VIRTUAL-pullquote-From where we're sitting, we're sensing continuation [from last year], the trend is still the upside.%Declines were capped by bullish investor sentiment after Thursday's move from the European Central Bank, which detailed a bigger-than-expected bond-buying program to lift the region's sagging economy and fight deflation.
"From where we're sitting, we're sensing continuation [from last year], the trend is still the upside," said Gordon Charlop, a managing director at Rosenblatt Securities in New York. "The corrections and the volatility will be a little more pronounced, a little more dramatic, but the trend remains intact."
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 141.38 points, or 0.79 percent, to 17,672.6,the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost 11.33 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,051.82 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) added 7.48 points, or 0.16 percent, to 4,757.88.
For the week, the Dow rose 0.9 percent, the S&P gained 1.6 percent and the Nasdaq added 2.7 percent.
UPS gave a fourth-quarter earnings outlook that was below expectations, citing a disappointing performance in U.S. domestic ground shipments. Shares slumped 9.9 percent to $102.93.
With 18 percent of S&P 500 companies having reported, 72.2 percent have topped earnings expectations, while 54.4 percent have beaten revenue forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters (TRI) data. That compares with the long-term average of 63 percent for earnings and 61 percent for revenue.
Starbucks (SBUX) rose 6.6 percent to $88.22 a day after the coffee chain reported same-store sales growth that was better than expected in its Americas region.
GoPro (GPRO) shares jumped 8.5 percent to $52.48 after a partnership with the U.S. National Hockey League paved the way for players to wear GoPro cameras during league games.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,678 to 1,368, for a 1.23-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,514 issues fell and 1,207 advanced for a 1.25-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 73 new 52-week highs and 6 new lows; the Nasdaq composite was recording 91 new highs and 56 new lows.
About 6.4 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, compared to the daily average so far this month of 7.3 billion according to BATS Global Markets data.
What to watch Monday:
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas releases its January survey of manufacturing conditions within Texas at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time.
These selected companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial results: