* Dow and S&P 500 both come off record closing highs
* Disney profit beats expectations, Whole Foods ups outlook
* Analysts see value in sectors tied to economic growth
* Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq all down 0.2 pct in early trading
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were modestly lower
on Wednesday as investors locked in profits after four days of
gains which took equity indexes to fresh highs a day earlier.
The S&P has climbed 2.7 percent over the past four sessions,
and is up about 14 percent this year. Both the S&P and the Dow
closed at new highs on Tuesday, with the Dow ending above 15,000
for the first time ever.
While the market continues to trend upward, with analysts
citing the attractive valuation of equities relative to other
assets, the magnitude and speed of the rally has spurred
expectations of a pullback.
"We've seen an amazing rally, and this is just a brief
cooling off period after an historic day," said Jake Dollarhide,
chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa,
Oklahoma. "While I expect a modest pullback over the next couple
of months, that will be followed by even more gains."
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 31.26
points, or 0.21 percent, at 15,024.94. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 2.55 points, or 0.16 percent, at 1,623.41.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 5.39 points, or 0.16
percent, at 3,391.24.
Wall Street hasn't yet undergone a sustained decline this
year as investors have bought on market declines. Robust
corporate results and accommodative monetary policies by the
Federal Reserve have buoyed the market's gains, which have
recently been led by cyclical sectors tied to the pace of
"We have a lot of interest in energy and material names at
these levels," said Dollarhide. "Both seem like big growth areas
that are undervalued."
Dow component Walt Disney Co reported earnings late
Tuesday that beat expectations and revenue that was up 10
percent, while Whole Foods Market Inc reported a rebound
in same-store sales and raised its full-year profit view.
Shares of Disney dipped 1 percent to $65.42 while Whole
Foods advanced 8.4 percent to $100.61.
J.C. Penney Co Inc reported another quarter of steep
sales declines, though investors were cheered that the troubled
department store posted cash levels that implied it had gone
through less money than feared. The stock rose 4.2 percent to
$16.80 but remains down 13 percent on the year.
AOL Inc fell 7.6 percent to $33.27 after reporting
earnings that missed expectations, though revenue rose more than
Earnings have largely been better than expected this
quarter, with about 68.5 percent of S&P 500 companies surpassing
estimates so far. At the same time, revenues have been
European shares rose, with mining stocks among the
day's strongest as strong Chinese trade data indicated a better
outlook for one of the world's largest economies.