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Weak earnings prospects weigh on stocks

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Profits that disappointed, a subscriber slump at AT&T, and a weak forecast from Procter & Gamble held back stocks, as did weak sales growth at Amgen and flat revenues at Eli Lilly. Boeing and General Dynamics tempered the mood with strong profits. So far, 35% of S&P 500 companies have posted earnings, as have 66% of Dow members. Most had better-than-forecast profits but sales weaker than anticipated. Of 35 companies that have given second-quarter forecasts, 28 are ‘‘negative,’’ four ‘‘positive,’’ and three ‘‘in-line.’’ A report that orders for long-lasting US factory goods fell more than economists expected added to concerns global growth is slowing.

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