U.S. stocks were mixed in mid-day session as investors digested quarterly earnings reports from Google, General Electric, Microsoft and International Business Machines, among others.
S&P 500 Index lost 0.24 percent to trade at 1,311.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.41 percent to 12,675.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.23 percent to 2,782.06.
On the economic front, sales of previously owned homes in U.S. grew for the month of December, reaching a 11-month high. One of the key indicator of overall economic strength, existing-home sales rose 5.0 percent to 4.61 million in December from a downwardly revised 4.39 million in November. Economists expected sales of 4.65 million.
On the earnings front, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) dropped 8.1 percent to $587.54 after the Internet giant's quarterly earnings trailed Wall Street projections. Non-GAAP earnings per share were $9.50, on net revenue of $8.1 billion. Analysts expected GOOG to earn $10.49 a share, on revenue of $8.4 billion.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) lost 0.8 percent to $18.99 after the conglomerate posted quarterly revenue that missed expectations. GE posted fourth-quarter operating earnings per share of 39 cents, on revenues of $38.0 billion. GE had to face weak year-over-year profit margin in its industrial unit.
Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) slumped 6.1 percent to $45.76 after the company reported a fall in fourth-quarter earnings hit by higher non-interest expenses and lower non-interest income as well as an increase in provision for loan losses.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) rose 4.3 percent to $29.33 after the company posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings. Earnings per share were$0.78 for the second quarter, up from $0.77 per share last year. Revenue grew 5 percent to $20.9 billion. Analysts expected the company to earn $0.76 per share on revenue of $20.9 billion.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) advanced 4.2 percent to $188.18 after the company guided 2012 earnings above consensus. IBM projected full-year non-GAAP earnings per share of at least $14.85, while analysts expect $14.82 a share.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) is down 2 percent to $49.91 after the company posted quarterly revenues of $7.7 billion that trailed estimates of $7.9 billion.
Parker Hannifin Corp. (NYSE:PH) fell 4.9 percent to $80.7 after the company slashed its full-year earnings view, citing softening in business conditions internationally. The maker of motion and control products also posted quarterly profit below consensus. For the full year, the company now expects earnings per share from continuing operations in the range of $6.90 to $7.30.
TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE: THS) cut its full year earnings view, below Wall Street projections, citing a 8 percent fall in December volumes. The Westchester, Illinois-based company, which services mainly the retail grocery and foodservice channels, sees 2011 adjusted earnings between $2.70 and $2.73 per share. The stock tumbled 12.5 percent to $54.99.
The European markets ended in red, after dropping from a five-month high amid meeting over Greece debt. U.K. FTSE 100 closed 0.22 percent lower. German DAX30 lost 0.18 percent and French CAC 40 fell 0.22 percent.
In the currency market, the euro declined 0.23 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2937, and the British pound gained 0.31 percent against the greenback. The dollar fell 0.17 percent against the Japanese yen to 76.9755.
Crude oil futures weakened 1.85 percent to $98.53/barrel, while gold futures advanced 0.55 percent.