Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Tuesday as lawmakers geared up for grueling talks over a coronavirus relief package, with investors also weighing a mixed batch of earnings reports from blue-chip companies.
Senate Republicans announced on Monday a $1 trillion aid package hammered out with the White House — four days before millions of Americans lose unemployment benefits — but the proposal sparked immediate opposition from both Democrats and some Republicans.
Hopes of more government stimulus helped Wall Street’s main indexes rise on Monday, with traders also tracking corporate America’s forecasts for a business recovery and progress in developing a COVID-19 vaccine.
Latest data showed U.S. consumer confidence ebbed in July amid a flare-up in COVID-19 infections across the country.
The U.S. Federal Reserve also said it would extend several of its lending facilities through the end of the year in a sign the economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic has been more prolonged than expected.
“We’re in a bit of a pause on the economic recovery while we wait for more progress on the vaccine developments and treatments,” said Jeff Buchbinder, equity strategist at LPL Financial in the Greater Boston Area.
Dow component 3M Co dropped 5.1% as the industrial conglomerate fell short of estimates on quarterly profit and revenue, hurt by a plunge in demand across its business units.
McDonald’s Corp, another Dow constituent, fell 2% after posting a bigger-than-expected drop in global same-store sales and missing profit expectations as it restaurants were shut due to the pandemic.
Pfizer Inc rose 3.1% after it raised its full-year forecast on strong demand for cancer drugs and blood thinners. Late on Monday, the drugmaker announced a pivotal global study to evaluate a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
About 80% of the 130 S&P 500 companies that have reported, surpassed significantly lowered forecasts for profit, according to Refinitiv IBES data, better than the average of 71% companies beating profit estimates over the past four quarters.
A major focus this week will be results from members of Wall Street’s trillion-dollar club — Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc — and Facebook Inc.
Technology stocks weighed the heaviest on the benchmark S&P 500 index.
At 10:11 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 99.76 points, or 0.38%, at 26,485.01, the S&P 500 was down 7.32 points, or 0.23%, at 3,232.09. The Nasdaq Composite was down 52.37 points, or 0.50%, at 10,483.90.
The U.S. central bank is expected to reiterate its accommodative stance when it wraps up its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
Harley-Davidson Inc slid 7.7% after it reported an unexpected quarterly loss due to disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.17-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.38-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
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The S&P index recorded 18 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 37 new highs and 10 new lows.
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