US stocks fell to one-month lows on Friday on worries about upcoming quarterly earnings news, while bond prices rose sharply, pushing the benchmark 10-year note's yield to a two-month low.
Mixed economic reports kept optimism about the recovery in check.
A surge in companies lowering the bar on their earnings outlooks this week has helped dampen hopes that a sustainable recovery in the US corporate sector is under way.
"Everyone's in a wait-and-see mode on third-quarter earnings," said Stephen Massocca, head of trading and president of Pacific Growth Equities. "There's a perception that stocks are overvalued, and that's holding the market back."
The US Department of Commerce said that brisk consumer spending helped the US economy grow at a slightly faster-than-expected pace, setting the stage for a second-half surge in growth. GDP grew at a revised 3.3 percent annual rate from April through June -- up from a 3.1 percent rate estimated a month ago.
A University of Michigan survey, however, showed consumer sentiment fell unexpectedly this month, hurt by persistent weakness in the job market, high gasoline prices and the US occupation in Iraq.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 30.88 points, or 0.33 percent, to 9,313.08, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 6.42 points, or 0.64 percent, to 996.85. The technology-laced NASDAQ Composite Index dropped 25.17 points, or 1.39 percent, to 1,792.07, based on the latest available figures.
Motorola Inc topped the New York Stock Exchange's most actively traded list. Its shares fell on news that it will not be able to supply two popular digital camera cell phone models in time to meet expected high demand in this year's US holiday season, one of its biggest customers said on Friday.
But by the close, Motorola's stock had recouped those losses and ended flat at US$12.53, after the world's No. 2 cell phone maker said it is positioned for the crucial holiday season and reiterated its forecast.
Treasury yields, which move inversely to prices, dropped to two-month lows on worries that nervous Americans might tighten their belts.
The 10-year note gained 23/32 in price to 102 and 00/32, while its yield dropped to 4 percent from 4.09 percent the previous session and 4.16 percent last week.
The two-year note, meanwhile, rose 6/32 to a price of 100 and 04/32, pushing its yield down to 1.56 percent from 1.67 percent last Friday.
The 30-year bond climbed 27/32 to a price of 106 and 18/32, while its yield slid to 4.94 percent from 5.07 percent last week.