Stocks closed mostly lower on Wall Street as traders didn’t find much to like in a mixed batch of corporate earnings and more in Tuesday’s Stock Market Update.
The modest slide came after President Donald Trump ramped up criticism of China just as negotiators began a new round of talks in the nations’ long-running and costly trade dispute.
Investors were also looking ahead to a policy update from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, when the central bank was widely expected to cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in a decade.
“There’s just a lot of confusion on whether is there really going to be a rate cut, which the market seems to think there will be, and then if there’s going to be any indication of further rate cuts,” said Karyn Cavanaugh, senior markets strategist at Voya Investment Management.
Traders were also wading through a heavy flow of corporate earnings reports Tuesday. Mixed or disappointing reports from Under Armour, Corning, HCA and Beyond Meat helped pull the market lower. Shares in Apple, which was due to report its financial results later Tuesday, also fell.
Capital One Financial slumped after the credit card issuer and bank disclosed that roughly 100 million people had some personal information stolen by a hacker.
Investors shifted money into less risky holdings. Procter & Gamble lead consumer products makers higher after reporting results that easily beat Wall Street’s forecasts.
Homebuilders also bucked the broader decline after D.R. Horton reported strong quarterly results and positive gains in new home orders. Horton climbed 5.7%.
Technology companies accounted for the biggest share of the selling. Health care stocks, retailers, communications companies and banks also weighed on the market. Energy stocks led the gainers, benefiting from a 2.1% increase in U.S. crude oil prices.
STOCK MARKET UPDATE
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 lost 7 points, or 0.3% to 3,013. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 23 points, or 0.1%, to 27,198. The Nasdaq fell 19 points, or 0.2%, to 8,273.
Major stock indexes in Europe finished lower.
TRADE TROUBLES: The lingering trade war between the U.S. and China has been cutting into corporate profit for some industries all year and has investors concerned that it will continue to crimp business investment and growth. Delegates from the U.S. and China are meeting in Shanghai this week in the latest round of negotiations, months after the trade spat escalated with more tariffs.
In a series of tweets, Trump claimed China is trying to hold off on an agreement until after the next U.S. elections. Trump threatened to get “much tougher” with China on trade if he wins in 2020.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The broader market is pulling back from record highs last week, but indexes are still poised to close July with solid gains. The S&P 500 is up 2.4% for the month and the Nasdaq is up 3.4%. The Dow is up 2.2%.
THE GOODS: Procter & Gamble rose 3.8% after the consumer goods company solidly beat profit and revenue forecasts for the fourth quarter. The maker of Charmin toilet paper and Tide laundry detergent reported growth in almost every category, including its key home care and beauty products segment.
WHAT’S IN YOUR DATA? Capital One Financial fell 5.9% after the bank said a hacker gained access to the personal information of more than 100 million people.
WEAK ARMOR: Under Armour plunged 12.2% after the sports apparel company’s revenue fell short of Wall Street forecasts. It also expects a slight sales decline in North America this year and its overall profit forecast for 2019 is weaker than analyst forecasts.
STILL HUNGRY: Beyond Meat fell 12.3% after the plant-based burger maker reported a bigger loss than Wall Street anticipated during the second quarter and announced a stock sale. The loss and secondary stock offering overshadowed solid sales results and an increased sales forecast.
DULL BITS: McDermott International plunged 35.2% after the offshore drilling company slashed its financial forecast and told investors it will register a loss in 2019. The company cited weak operating results during the second quarter and lower revenue as key factors for the shift.
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