Circumstances surrounding a plane crash in eastern Ukraine caused jitters on Wall Street Thursday. The markets were just treading water until news broke that a Malaysia Airline jet had crashed while flying over territory where pro-Russian separatists have been battling against the army. Reports suggest that it may have been shot down, though by which side is still unclear.
At the end of the day, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) was 161 points lower, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) had fallen 62 points, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) was down by 23 points.
Investors flocked instead to safe-haven bets like gold and Treasuries, but there were some stock winners on this jam-packed earnings day.
The country's largest health insurer, United Health (UNH), released its quarterly report. Revenue rose 7 percent but profits fell, mainly because of higher taxes. Nevertheless the results topped expectations and shares gained 1.5 percent. Rival Humana (HUM) also rose sharply, up 3 percent.
Toolmaker Snap-on (SNA) beat on earnings, and it was one of the top winners in the S&P 500, gaining 4 percent.
Earnings rose 90 percent at Morgan Stanley (MS), which beat on profit and revenue. The stock initially gained but then lost half a percent as the broader market sold off.
M&T Bank (MTB) reported a drop in profit as mortgage-banking revenue declined and the stock dropped slightly.
Earnings more than doubled at the world's largest private-equity firm, Blackstone Group (BX) and its shares gained half a percent.
Chipmaker Sandisk (SNDK) beat on earnings but the stock dropped 13.5 percent as the outlook for both margins and sales in the current quarter disappointed.But overall this year, the stock has been on tear. Year-to-date, it is up 31 percent
Barbie maker Mattel (MAT), the toy industry's largest player, dropped more than 6.5 percent on a steep drop in sales and profits in the last quarter. Its traditional toys aren't as popular nowadays, but its American Girl line continues to shine.
Yum Brands (YUM), which owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC also sold off after reporting earnings. KFC's business in China rebounded, but sales continued to drop in the U.S. The stock fell more than 6.5 percent.
And the largest auto dealership chain in the U.S., AutoNation (AN) reported an 8 percent increase in revenue in the last quarter and growth in all of its businesses, but that failed to meet expectations and shares fell 8 percent.
Microsoft (MSFT) shares gained 1 percent on news it is slashing 18,000 jobs. That is about double what was expected since Satya Nadella took over as CEO.The stock has been a winner this year though: It is up 18 percent.
And finally, Dresser-Rand (DRC), which makes engineering equipment for the energy sector, soared 12.5 percent on reports Siemens is considering an offer.
-Produced by Karina Huber.
What to Watch Friday:
The University of Michigan releases its initial survey of consumer sentiment for July at 9:55 a.m.
The Conference Board releases leading indicators for June at 10 a.m.
These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial results