NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks declined on Wednesday after uninspiring earnings from IBM and Intel, while Chesapeake Energy sank after a Reuters report highlighted that its CEO has taken out large and unusual personal loans.
Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N) lost 7 percent and was the most actively traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange after a Reuters report that CEO Aubrey K. McClendon did not disclose loans of as much as $1.1 billion over the last three years against his stake in thousands of the company's oil and natural gas wells.
Trading in the company's stock outstripped even Bank of America, with its massive share float and was approaching nearly triple the recent daily average by midday. The stock was trading at $17.78. Earlier, the stock touched a session low at $17.17, its lowest since July 2009. Shares of natural gas companies have been hit recently by falling natural gas prices.
"I think where there is smoke, there may be fire, and investors are still in a shoot-first mentality," said David Lutz, a trader at Stifel Nicolaus in Baltimore.
International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) and Intel Corp (INTC.O) were among the biggest drags on the Dow. IBM missed its revenue forecast, while investors said Intel's results failed to make a "bull case" for the stock.
The lackluster reports from the two technology heavyweights came at the start of what has so far been a strong earnings season. The S&P 500 had its best day in a month on Tuesday as Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) led the day's round of solid earnings and concerns eased over the euro zone debt crisis.
Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co in Nashville, Tennessee, expects the market to continue its back-and-forth moves, possibly trending lower in the second quarter after strong gains earlier in the year.
"A consolidation or correction phase in the second quarter would make the most sense, and probably it would be the most healthy thing for the market," he said.
Market breadth was worse than the relatively slight losses suggested by the afternoon. On the New York Stock Exchange, two stocks declined for every one that rose.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI dropped 66.86 points, or 0.51 percent, to 13,048.68. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX fell 4.74 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,386.04. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC lost 12.96 points, or 0.43 percent, to 3,029.86.
IBM lost 2.9 percent to $201.43 and Intel fell 1.9 percent to $27.93. The PHLX semiconductor index .SOX dropped 1.1 percent.
U.S.-listed shares of Argentina's YPF (YPF.N), controlled by Spain's Repsol (REP.MC), plunged 24.3 percent to $14.80. Trading in the company's U.S.-listed stock resumed after it was halted following Argentina's move to nationalize the oil company.
On the earnings front, 22 companies in the S&P 500 were expected to report results on Wednesday, according to Thomson Reuters data, with American Express Co (AXP.N), Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) and eBay Inc (EBAY.O) on tap after the close.
Of the 56 S&P 500 companies reporting through Wednesday morning, 79 percent beat Wall Street's estimates.
"Investors should not overreact to positive news nor should they be overreacting to really what could be viewed as isolated earnings reports. One report does not make a trend, unfortunately," said Tim Speiss, a partner at EisnerAmper in New York.
Yahoo Inc YHOO.O gained 2.9 percent to $15.44 a day after reporting that quarterly revenues rose in the first quarterly sales growth in three years, as the new CEO outlined plans to revamp the struggling Internet media company.
Halliburton Co (HAL.N) advanced 4.4 percent to $34.09 after the world's No. 2 oilfield services company said North American revenue reached a record high. The PHLX oil services sector index .OSX dipped 0.1 percent.
In the M&A arena, SXC Health Solutions Corp SXCI.OSXC.TO said it will buy pharmacy benefit manager Catalyst Health Solutions Inc CHSI.O for about $4.4 billion. Catalyst surged 31.2 percent to $83.39 and U.S.-listed shares of SXC Health climbed 8.1 percent to $86.76.
Genworth Financial Inc (GNW.N) slid 20.9 percent to $6.09 and was the S&P 500's worst performer after the life and mortgage insurer pushed back the initial public offering of an Australian unit.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc's (BRKa.N) CEO Warren Buffett said on Tuesday that he has Stage 1 prostate cancer that "is not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way." On Wednesday at mid-session, Berkshire Class B shares (BRKb.N) were down 1.2 percent at $79.76.
Reporting By Edward Krudy; Editing by Jan Paschal