Stocks headed lower at the open, with the Dow off 42 points, the S&P down 4.75, and the Nasdaq behind 17.58. Intel was a big loser, dropping 4% after reporting a better-than-expected 55% decline in profits, and projecting flat sales. “The ‘beat and raise’ scenario that investors had hoped for did not pan out,” said one analyst. Starbucks, meanwhile, sunk 6.1% after a Deutsche Bank downgrade.
"Yesterday’s retail sales confirmed that the economic environment is still uncertain," said one market strategist. "Intel’s results confirm that computer and electronics are the first to suffer when people cut down spending."