The US stocks closed slight lower after drifting between small gains and losses on Tuesday, 26 January 2021, as investors opted to secure recent profits after the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 climbed to new record closing highs on Monday. Meanwhile, the lacklustre performance on the day also reflected a mixed reaction to earnings news from a number of big-name companies, worries over virus variants, hurdles to a fresh aid package and on caution ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.
At the close of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index fell 22.96 points, or 0.07%, to 30,937.04. The S&P 500 index declined 5.74 points, or 0.15%, to 3,849.62. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index slid 9.93 points, or 0.07%, to 13,626.06.
Nearly a third of S&P 500 companies report their results for the last three months of 2020 this week, including numerous high-profile names. Microsoft, General Electric, Starbucks, and Verizon Communications were among Tuesday’s reporters, followed by Apple, Facebook, and Tesla on Wednesday.
Traders are keeping a wary eye on rising coronavirus infections in various countries and a bumpy rollout of vaccinations in the U. S. The spread of variants that are thought to be more easily transmissible and might be less effectively targeted by existing vaccines is adding to alarm. Vaccine maker Moderna said Monday that it will study whether a booster shot would be needed to protect against variants of the coronavirus, “out of an abundance of caution.”
President Joe Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion plan to send $1,400 to most Americans and deliver other support for the economy. But his party holds only the slimmest possible majority in the Senate, making approval uncertain.
Shares of 3M (MMM) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) moved notably higher after reporting quarterly results that exceeded market expectation on both the top and bottom lines. On the other hand, fellow Dow components American Express (AXP) and Verizon (VZ) moved to the downside after its quarterly profit fell.
ECONOMIC NEWS: The Conference Board report showed its consumer confidence index climbed to 89.3 in January from a downwardly revised 87.1 in December.
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