Wall Street's two major indexes drop; oil falls

Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:42pm EDT
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By Sinead Carew

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Major U.S. stock indexes lost ground on lackluster earnings reports on Tuesday, while oil fell on concerns about U.S. crude stockpiles and Saudi Arabia's announcement that it ended its military campaign in Yemen.

European and other markets moved higher, and currency trading was choppy.

The Nasdaq composite index was the brightest spot in U.S. stock markets. It gained 0.4 percent, helped by a $40 billion biotechnology acquisition proposal.

But many investors held back as they waited for more quarterly reports and 2015 forecasts, said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

"There's no clear trend," said Forrest. "We haven't seen much change in forecasts for the remainder of the year."

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. made an unsolicited bid to buy smaller rival Mylan NV, sending the Nasdaq Biotechnology index up 1.8 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 85.34 points, or 0.47 percent, to 17,949.59, the S&P 500 lost 3.11 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,097.29 and the Nasdaq Composite added 19.50 points, or 0.39 percent, to 5,014.10.

Oil prices fell on the Saudi news and anticipation of a weekly build in U.S. crude stockpiles. A preliminary Reuters survey showed that U.S. crude inventories likely rose by 2.4 million barrels last week.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid