Wall Street lower as earnings pour in

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

(Close): Stocks on Wall Street closed lower after a choppy session.

A decline in the consumer discretionary sector and interest-rate sensitive stocks outweighed gains in healthcare names.

The Dow Jones fell 29.65 points to 18,169.68, with Verizon the top riser in the Dow, up 1.9%.

The wider S&P 500 index edged down 6.39 points to 2,133.04, while the Nasdaq index fell 34.29 points to 5,215.97.

Healthcare stocks were also higher after strong results in the sector. Bristol-Myers Squibb rose 5.42% after strong sales of its medicines led the firm to increase its full-year profit forecast.

The company is now forecasting earnings per share in the range of $2.80-$2.90, compared with its previous estimate of $2.55-$2.65.

Earlier Qualcomm - which makes chips for smartphone makers and Apple - said it had agreed to buy NXP Semiconductors for $38bn, a record deal for the semiconductor industry.

Shares in Qualcomm rose 2.77% while NXP climbed 0.43%.