US STOCKS-Materials tumble after results, broader mkts flat

* U.S. Steel, AK Steel tumble after results

* Home prices fall, consumer confidence up

* Indexes: Dow up 0.1 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.4 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to midday, changes byline)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Oct 26 (BestGrowthStock) – Soft commodity prices and
disappointing results from the steel sector weighed on
materials stocks on Tuesday, but a strong quarter at Ford kept
spirits high about the earnings season.

Broader markets were little changed at midday as an
encouraging reading on consumer confidence helped discretionary
shares, offsetting the impact of weak revenue forecasts from
drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY.N: ) and chip manufacturer
Texas Instruments Inc (TXN.N: ). Investors view top-line growth
as an indicator of economic activity.

U.S. Steel Corp (X.N: ), AK Steel Holdings Corp (AKS.N: ) and
ArcelorMittal, the world’s No. 1 steelmaker (MT.N: )(ISPA.AS: ) all
sold off after reporting results. Both U.S. Steel and
ArcelorMittal also forecast a soft patch extending to the end
of the year. For details, see [ID:nLDE69P1J5]

So far this earnings season, “there haven’t been many
misses or drastic news to the downside, except for U.S. Steel,”
said Jay Suskind, senior vice president at Duncan-Williams in
Jersey City, New Jersey.

“If economies continue to grow slowly while commodity
prices rise, material companies like that could have some
problems.”

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) was down 5.91
points, or 0.05 percent, at 11,158.14. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) slipped 0.18 points, or 0.02 percent, at
1,185.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) added 8.71 points,
or 0.35 percent, at 2,499.56.

On the upside, Ford Motor Co (F.N: ) rose 1.6 percent to
$14.37 and touched a six-month high after quarterly profit
topped estimates and it paid down a big chunk of debt.
[ID:nN26109531]

Broadly, equities continued to take their cue from the U.S.
dollar, which steadied with the dollar index (Read more about the global trade. ) (.DXY: ) up 0.6
percent. Stocks and the greenback have formed an inverse
relationship, exacerbated by expectations the U.S. Federal
Reserve will embark on another round of economic stimulus. For
a Q+A, see [ID:nN2199257]

U.S. Steel shed 4 percent to $40.56, while AK Steel slumped
nearly 5 percent to $12.72. The Dow Jones U.S. Steel index
(.DJUSST: ) lost 2.1 percent, while the S&P Materials index
(.GSPM: ) dipped 0.5 percent.

Dow component International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N: )
rose 0.6 percent to $140.74 after boosting its stock buyback
program. [ID:nN26132474]

DuPont and Co’s (DD.N: ) earnings beat expectations and the
chemicals giant raised its full-year profit view. Still, shares
of the Dow component fell 2 percent to $46.76. [ID:nN26116954]

Bristol-Myers was down 1.3 pct to $26.80, while Texas
Instruments slipped 0.7 pct to $28.78.

Consumer confidence rose more than expected, helping
discretionary shares, even as confidence remained near
historically low levels. The S&P Consumer Discretionary index
(.GSPD: ) rose 0.5 percent. [ID:nN26127639]

Earlier, data showed single-family home prices fell for the
second straight month in August, hovering near recent lows
after the expiration of popular homebuyer tax credits.
[ID:nN2649346]
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Materials tumble after results, broader mkts flat