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Dow falls, Walgreens shares drop after weak results

The Dow fell as shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance dropped following a weaker-than-expected earnings report.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) ended Tuesday’s session flat, up less than 1 point. The Dow (^DJI) dropped 0.3%, or 79.29 points, while the Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose 0.25%, or 19.78 points.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) reported quarterly earnings and delivered full-year guidance on Tuesday morning that missed Wall Street’s expectations. Shares fell more than 8% in early trading.

The company brought in adjusted earnings of $1.64 per share in the fiscal second quarter, or 8 cents short of estimates, with net sales of $34.5 billion in-line with consensus expectations. Net income of $1.16 billion was down 14% from the year earlier. The company said it expects full-year earnings to be roughly flat, versus a previous forecast for an increase between 7% and 12%.

“The market challenges and macro trends we have been discussing for some time accelerated, resulting in the most difficult quarter we have had since the formation of Walgreens Boots Alliance,” CEO Stefano Pessina said in a statement. “During the quarter, we saw significant reimbursement pressure, compounded by lower generic deflation, as well as continued consumer market challenges in the U.S. and U.K. While we had begun initiatives to address these trends, our response was not rapid enough given market conditions, resulting in a disappointing quarter that did not meet our expectations.”

POLAND - 2019/02/17: Bitcoin logo is seen on an android mobile phone. (Photo by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) prices briefly spiked overnight to about $5,080, the highest level since November. Prices had been under pressure since late last year as some analysts speculated a rout in the broader market sapped potential investment capital away from already-volatile digital currencies.

There was no obvious cause for Tuesday’s price spike, which also took place in prices of other coins including Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin.

Bitcoin traded higher by 14.5% to $4,754.38 as of 3:09 p.m. ET.

Domestic crude oil prices (CL=F) extended gains after rising 32% in the first three months of 2019. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May climbed to $62.58 per barrel as of Tuesday’s settlement. The bump up in prices for WTI crude oil follows reports that OPEC members have continued to squeeze output, and as investors weigh potential additional U.S. sanctions against the oil-producing nations Iran and Venezuela.

Elsewhere, on Monday, members of the U.K. Parliament failed to come to a consensus on the path forward for Brexit after voting on a series of potential options. The EU has given the U.K. until April 12 to come up with departure terms, or else crash out of the bloc without a plan in place.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday that she would seek another short extension to Brexit, “one that is as short as possible and which ends when we pass a deal,” she said from Downing Street, according to a Reuters report.

The British pound reversed losses and rose to more than $1.31 against the dollar (GBPUSD=X), while the euro slipped to under $1.12 (EURUSD=X).

Economy

New orders for durable goods, or goods meant to last at least three years, fell less-than-expected in February, according to the Census Bureau’s advance report released Tuesday. New orders for manufactured durable goods fell 1.6% for the month, less than the 1.8% decline expected. January’s reading, however, was downwardly revised to see a 0.1% increase in orders, down from a 0.3% increase previously.

Excluding transportation orders, durable goods orders rose 0.1% in February, reversing an upwardly revised 0.1% decline in January.

Non-defense capital goods orders, excluding aircraft, declined 0.1% in February, below the 0.1% increase expected and an upwardly revised 0.9% increase in January. This marked the third decline in four months in so-called “core” capital goods orders, which serve as a proxy for business investment plants.

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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