NEW YORK – Stocks slipped in holiday-shortened trading Tuesday as profit warnings from chemical company DuPont Co. and software provider Internet Security Systems Inc. weighed on Wall Street.
Volume was light as traders and investors started packing up before the U.S. Independence Day holiday on Wednesday. The trading session ended at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 22.55 points to close at 10,571.17. The tech-laced Nasdaq Composite Index lost 7.95 points to 2,140.77.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 2.24 points at 1,234.47.
DuPont, the No. 1 U.S. chemical company, lost 92 cents at $47.20. The Dow component warned its earnings would fall short of analysts' estimates, joining a litany of chemical companies which have cautioned that their earnings would be hurt by the U.S. economic downturn.
Internet Security tumbled more than 40 percent, or $20.18 to $29.99. The company said it expects to report a loss because of lower than anticipated sales of its Web site security software and services.
Technology stocks were also battered after network security company Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. said its results will be within the analysts' range of estimates, while revenues will increase from a year earlier but fall slightly below expectations. Its shares fell $6.36 to $44.59.
Software maker E.piphany Inc. warned it will post a larger than anticipated loss after a slowdown in international sales overshadowed the positive impact of more stable U.S. business.
Business-to-business software company i2 Technologies Inc. warned that its results will be lower than expected because of ``difficult'' market conditions.
Traders speculated that more warnings were to come after Tuesday's market close as companies may take advantage of low attendance to issue negative news.
Although Wall Street had been expecting the second quarter to be weak, many investors have been caught off guard by the level of weakness and most companies' inability to predict when the environment will improve.
That murkiness has thwarted the market's efforts to rally. Since investors have no confidence in when results will improve, they've had little incentive to fully commit their money to the market and do a lot of buying.
Even a new Commerce Department report Tuesday showing U.S. factory orders rebounding in May to their best performance in nearly a year - chiefly on stronger demand in cars and semiconductors - failed to inspire investors.
``The whole key here is earnings, and when earnings will start to turn,'' said Robert Harrington, co-head of listed block trading at UBS Warburg. ``It's just not visible quite yet when that will happen, but people are hopeful it will.
``The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates six times this year. People are just wating to see when things will turnaround.''
Advancing issues narrowly led decliners on the New York Stock Exchange in quiet trading. Volume came to 440.53 million shares, ahead of 482.65 million at the same point Monday.
The Russell 2000 index fell 0.98 to 497.47.
Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.5 percent. Germany's DAX index slipped 0.6 percent, Britain's FT-SE 100 was down 1.2 percent, and France's CAC-40 was off 1.3 percent.
-- Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.