Dow, S&P flat; Nasdaq falls after F5 results

The Dow and S&P were flat on Thursday while the Nasdaq slipped as investors paused to digest corporate earnings against raised expectations in a market many analysts viewed as extended.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) up 2.2 percent at $44.69, helped push the Dow briefly to the plus side following earnings from rival bank Morgan Stanley, which posted stronger-than-expected quarterly revenue and a jump in retail brokerage profit. Morgan Stanley shares rose 4.6 percent to $29.02.

But F5 Networks (FFIV.O) plunged 20.2 percent to $110.89 and pulled the Nasdaq lower after the network equipment maker forecast weak second-quarter revenue.

On Wednesday, U.S. stocks suffered their worst decline in two months as analysts said the market is entering a corrective phase that could drag equities lower in the weeks ahead.

“It’s a reaction to companies that aren’t performing to the level that people thought they were,” said Kim Caughey Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

“This recovery, with respect to earnings, has been going on for some time — but instead of it being easy for companies to show huge gains, we are really going to see winners and losers again.”

Underscoring how overbought the market has become in recent weeks, stocks failed to react to positive jobs and housing market data that pointed to a strengthening recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) dipped 5.82 points, or 0.05 percent, to 11,819.47, after briefly turning positive in mid-afternoon. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX) dipped 1.31 points, or 0.10 percent, to 1,280.61, following a brief gain of 0.1 percent in mid-afternoon trading. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) lost 17.41 points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,707.95.