Stocks closed mostly lower on Wall Street after a day of wobbling back and forth as investors looked over some mixed news on corporate earnings and more in Tuesday’s Stock Market Update.
Health care and energy companies did well Tuesday, but losses in technology and communications companies checked those gains.
Biogen soared 26.1% after the drug company said it would seek federal approval for a medicine to treat early Alzheimer’s disease.
Facebook gave up 3.9%.
Travelers sank 8.2% after the insurance company reported earnings that fell far short of analysts’ forecasts.
Some of the latest company earnings were surprisingly good, though a few large companies gave investors disappointing results and tempered the market’s gains.
Procter & Gamble rose 2.6% and lifted consumer product makers after the company raised its profit forecast for the year following surprisingly good third quarter earnings.
Investors have been shifting their focus to corporate earnings reports as they wait for developments in the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.
Optimism over the latest round of talks, which for now have at least prevented the costly conflict from escalating further, has helped put investors in a buying mood. The benchmark S&P 500 has notched weekly gains the past two weeks.
This week will be a busy one for investors. Boeing, Caterpillar and Microsoft all report their results on Wednesday. American Airlines, Twitter and Amazon will report on Thursday.
STOCK MARKET UPDATE
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 fell 10 points, or 0.4%, to 2,995. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 39 points, or 0.1%, to 26,788. The Nasdaq fell 58 points, or 0.7%, to 8,104.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks added 0.1%.
HEALTHY STOCK: Biogen soared 26.1% after the biotechnology company gave investors a double dose of good news. The maker of multiple sclerosis and other drugs surprised investors with its move to ask the Food and Drug Administration to approve a potential Alzheimer’s treatment. The drug had previously appeared to fail in studies earlier this year and the company halted development. A new analysis shows the drug met key treatment goals.
The company also handily beat Wall Street’s third-quarter profit and revenue forecasts.
SAGGING ARCHES: McDonald’s slid 5% after its third-quarter profit and revenue fell short of Wall Street forecasts. The company has been spending more money to promote its delivery options and stores are undergoing extensive renovations.
CHANGING OUTFITS: Under Armour climbed 6.4% after the athletic gear maker said founder Kevin Plank will step down as CEO in the new year to become the company’s executive chairman and brand chief. Patrik Frisk, who became president and chief operating officer two years ago, will be the second CEO since it was founded in 1996.
NOT SO TASTY: Del Taco Restaurants slumped 17.3% after the restaurant chain’s third-quarter profit fell short of Wall Street expectations. It also its revenue forecast.
OVERSEAS: Stocks in Europe finished higher after British lawmakers on Tuesday approved Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal in principle. However, they also rejected the government’s fast-track attempt to pass the bill within days.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will “pause” the government’s planned Brexit legislation.
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