Wall Street edges lower ahead of French elections

Image source, Reuters

Wall Street's main markets fell on mixed earnings and cautious investor sentiment ahead of the French presidential election this weekend.

With polls in France showing a tight contest ahead of Sunday's voting, "nobody wants to take any new position," said Karl Haeling, of LBBW.

The Dow Jones fell 0.2% to 20,547.55, while the S&P 500 shed 0.3% to 2,348.7. The Nasdaq lost 0.1% at 5,910.52.

General Electric fell 2.4% despite posting higher profits.

Honeywell International jumped 2.7% as first-quarter earnings came in above analyst expectations.

But Mattel slumped 13.6% after reporting a $113.2m loss in the first quarter, saying sales were damaged by a glut of toys after the holiday period.

A steady stream of strong earnings through the week had helped to buoy market sentiment.

Of the 95 companies in the S&P 500 that reported earnings, about 75% topped expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data. That was above the 71% average for the past four quarters.

Overall, profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 11.2% in the quarter, the most since 2011.