The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined for the fourth time in five sessions, as biotechnology shares tumbled while media companies sold off on disappointing results from Viacom Inc. and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.
The S&P 500 lost 0.8 percent to 2,083.79 at 4 p.m. in New York, falling below its average prices during the past 50 and 100 days.
Media shares were battered for a second day, with quarterly earnings at CBS and Fox marked by shrinking U.S. ad sales and profits propped up by stock buybacks. Viacom, owner of MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, posted a third-quarter revenue decline that was wider than analysts had forecast.
About 85 percent of S&P 500 members have released earnings figures, with three-quarters beating profit estimates and half topping sales projections. Analysts now call for a 2.8 percent drop in second-quarter earnings, shallower than July 10 estimates for a 6.4 percent fall.