Lackluster results from Tesla and 3M dragged Wall Street’s main indexes lower on Tuesday, shifting investor focus to earnings from big technology companies, including Microsoft and Alphabet, later in the day.
Electric-car maker Tesla Inc ((TSLA).O) dropped 3%, weighing on the S&P 500 (.SPX) and the Nasdaq (.IXIC), as its revenue beat was largely supported by sales of environmental credits and bitcoin liquidation rather than vehicle sales. read more
“Tesla is a special case. A lot of the gains for the company were driven by its bitcoin bet, which is a sideline. It’s good that it sold a lot of cars, but it didn’t make a lot of money from the cars,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.
Microsoft Corp ((MSFT).O) and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) slipped, while shares of Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), slated to report later this week, were mixed. The five companies combined account for about 40% of the S&P 500’s market capitalization.
“When you come in to earnings season with companies that are near all-time highs, the reaction function is difficult,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
“A great example of that is Tesla. For most parts the company blew past expectations, but the reaction to that is down and I suspect that could be the case for companies reporting after the close today. The markets are really preparing themselves for that.”
First-quarter overall earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to jump 35.1% from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ended at record levels on Monday, and have mainly been supported by ebbing inflation worries, improving economic data, swift vaccine distribution along with unprecedented monetary and fiscal measures.
Meanwhile, investors will monitor the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting for cues on the central bank’s thinking on inflation, bond buying and risks to the financial system posed by soaring asset prices. The Fed is not expected to change its policy guidance at the end of the meeting on Wednesday. read more
In the latest upbeat economic data, U.S. consumer confidence jumped to a 14-month high in April as more services businesses reopened on increased vaccinations and additional fiscal stimulus.
At 11:53 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was down 20.49 points, or 0.06%, at 33,961.08, the S&P 500 (.SPX) was down 0.42 points, or 0.01%, at 4,187.20 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was down 23.41 points, or 0.17%, at 14,115.37.
In other corporate results, United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) jumped 10.5% after it topped estimates for quarterly revenue. read more
General Electric (GE.N) fell 3.5% as it disappointed investors who were expecting the industrial conglomerate to upgrade its 2021 outlook. read more
The S&P index recorded 41 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 107 new highs and 10 new lows.
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