By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks declined on Tuesday, weighed down by a drop in Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson in the wake of their quarterly results, while geopolitical tensions continued to fuel investor caution.
Goldman Sachs lost 4.7 percent to $215.58 after hitting its lowest level since Nov. 29 following earnings that missed expectations as trading revenue dropped.
Goldman shares were on track for their biggest daily percentage drop since June 24, a day after Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Johnson & Johnson
"Those tend to be companies who manage earnings a little better, the fact they have missed perhaps isn't a very good indication," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in New York.
"There is some nervousness out there about the economy, geopolitical issues and general unpredictability as well."
Healthcare <.SPXHC>, down 1.0 percent, and financials, off 0.6 percent, were the two worst-performing of the 11 major S&P sectors.
Although Bank of America
A rough start to the earnings season could add to investor concerns about market valuations, after a strong post-election rally largely based on expectations of pro-growth policies from President Donald Trump's administration drove major indexes to record highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 109.25 points, or 0.53 percent, to 20,527.67, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 6.25 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,342.76 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 10.11 points, or 0.17 percent, to 5,846.68.
Safe-havens continued to be in favour, with gold and U.S. Treasury prices climbing ahead of crucial presidential elections in France, rising tensions between the United States and North Korea and the early calling of elections in Britain.
Despite the high profile earnings misses, first quarter results have been promising overall. According to Thomson Reuters data through Tuesday morning, of the 45 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results, 76 percent have topped expectations.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.28-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.39-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 16 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 34 new highs and 50 new lows.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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