Wall Street closes lower

Strong earnings releases fail to drive US stocks higher for seventh day.

US stocks have closed lower despite another batch of largely positive earnings releases.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 12.72 points, or 0.08%, to 16,501.65.

The S&P 500 inched down 4.16 points, or 0.22%, to 1,875.39, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index sunk 34.49 points lower, or 0.83%, to 4,126.97.

The weakness was largely put down to buyer fatigue, with the S&P 500 having just capped a run of six straight days in the black.

"Despite a plethora of better than expected earnings results, the major indices have been unable to establish any upside traction today," Patrick O'Hare, analyst at Briefing.com, said.

"That is owed in large part to profit-taking interest that has been more pronounced in the technology sector than anywhere else.

"The selling interest, though, isn't broad-based. It is concentrated in large-cap issues; hence, it is having a bigger impact on the major indices."

Delta Air Lines, Boeing and Dow Chemical led the list of prominent companies reporting first quarter earnings, with all three firms surpassing expectations and seeing their share prices rise. Delta stock climbed 4%, Boeing 2% and Dow 1%.

In US economic data, new home sales came in well short of expectations, backing the view that the housing market has cooled after a very strong 2013.