Disappointing quarterly results from corporate heavyweights Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson dragged down major Wall Street indexes on Tuesday. The S&P 500 healthcare sector tumbled 0.83 percent, as Johnson & Johnson fell 2.6 percent after the company reported quarterly revenue that missed analysts’ expectations.
The financial sector was pressured by a 3.5 percent decline in Goldman Sachs, which reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit due to weak trading revenue. Goldman influenced other major U.S. banks, including Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, which traded lower. Bank of America pared most of its premarket gains and was up 0.5 percent even after reporting a quarterly profit that beat expectations.
“The key for the market is still earnings, economic growth etc, and politics is merely a daily sideshow,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago, Illinois.
Following a strong post-election rally, especially in the banking sector, investors are now looking at quarterly earnings to help justify lofty valuations in the market.
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At 9:41 a.m. ET (1341 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 66.05 points, or 0.32 percent, at 20,570.87, the S&P 500 was down 4.4 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,344.61 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 8.21 points, or 0.14 percent, at 5,848.58.
Adding to the downbeat sentiment was a warning from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that U.S. tax reforms could be delayed following setbacks in negotiations with Congress over health care.
Safe-havens continued to be in favour ahead of crucial presidential elections in France, rising tensions between the United States and North Korea and the possibility of snap elections in Britain.
Netflix, the first of the FANG stocks to report, was down 2 percent at $144.37 after the video streaming service provider reported weaker-than-expected subscriber numbers in the first quarter, but forecast strong growth in the current quarter.
One bright spot was Dow component UnitedHealth whose shares rose 1.3 percent to $169.25 after the health insurer reported better-than-expected quarterly results and raised its profit and revenue forecasts for the year.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,776 to 821. On the Nasdaq, 1,602 issues fell and 693 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed nine 52-week highs and two lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 15 highs and 16 lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)