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Mixed earnings, failed Brexit vote push down S&P 500

Published 10/22/2019, 03:34 PM
Mixed earnings, failed Brexit vote push down S&P 500

By April Joyner

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The benchmark S&P 500 index gave up modest gains on Tuesday from earlier in the session after British lawmakers rejected the government's proposed timetable for passing legislation to ratify its deal to exit the European Union.

Earlier, U.S. stocks were mixed amid split corporate earnings reports. Upbeat forecasts from Procter & Gamble Co (N:PG) and United Technologies Corp (N:UTX) offset disappointing results from McDonald's Corp (N:MCD) and Travelers Cos Inc (N:TRV).

Procter & Gamble shares rose gained 2.8% and United Technologies advanced 2.4%, while McDonald's shares fell 4.6% and Travelers shares declined 8.4%.

Of the 98 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far, more than 80% of them have beaten Wall Street estimates, according to data from Refinitiv. Still, analysts project the first earnings contraction since 2016.

"With a lower bar, earnings aren't really coming in that great," said Matthew Miskin, co-chief market strategist at John Hancock Investment Management in Boston. "They're not going to cut it to get the market popping out of its trading range."

The Dow held on to slight gains, thanks to boosts from Procter & Gamble, United Technologies and Boeing Co (N:BA).

Boeing shares rose after United Technologies' chief financial officer said that the company believed Boeing would make 737 MAX planes at its current rate for the rest of the year. They pared gains slightly after the New York Times reported that the company's executive in charge of commercial airplanes was expected to leave the company. Boeing shares were last up 2.1%.

The Nasdaq was pressured throughout Tuesday's session as shares of technology (SPLRCT) and communication services (SPLRCL) stocks lagged. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares, which dropped 3.5%, weighed most heavily on the index as the social networking company faced an expanding probe into allegations that it put consumer data at risk and pushed up advertising rates.

Even with the afternoon's declines, the S&P remained above 3000 and was less than 1% from its record closing high in July.

"There's some disappointment from Brexit," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. "But I don't think it has a huge impact on the U.S. market."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 13.9 points, or 0.05%, to 26,841.54, the S&P 500 (SPX) lost 5.3 points, or 0.18%, to 3,001.42 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) dropped 44.52 points, or 0.55%, to 8,118.47.

Biogen Inc (O:BIIB) shares surged 29.0% after the drugmaker revived plans to seek U.S. regulatory approval for its Alzheimer's treatment.

Harley-Davidson Inc (N:HOG) shares jumped 9.8% after the motorcycle maker beat profit expectations and reaffirmed its full-year shipment forecast.

Conversely, Hasbro Inc (O:HAS) shares dived 16.5% as the toymaker's profits, which have been pinched by U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, came in well below Wall Street estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.52-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.01-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 46 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 78 new highs and 68 new lows.

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