NEW YORK (AP) - Downbeat reports from Alcoa and Chevron at the start of corporate earnings season pulled stock indexes lower for a third straight day Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average slumped 128 points, its steepest loss since late June.
Alcoa, the aluminum producer, beat Wall Street's earnings estimates on Tuesday night but said it expects a slowdown in China to weaken demand for aluminum. Its stock fell 42 cents Wednesday to $8.71.
The company is often used as a weather vane for the global economy. "And judging by Alcoa's massive inventory of aluminum, it seems pretty anemic," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank.
Chevron, the country's second-largest oil company, warned late Tuesday that slumping oil prices and production would cause earnings to be "substantially lower." It blamed Hurricane Isaac for disrupting production at a Mississippi refinery.
In this Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, file photo, a Chevron station posts gasoline prices starting at $5.50 per gallon in downtown Los Angeles. Shares of Chevron Corp. plunged Wednesday after the oil giant said its third-quarter earnings are expected to be "substantially lower" than in the second quarter. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)