U.S. stocks fell for the first time in six days on Tuesday ahead of quarterly earnings reports from several megacap technology companies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 150 points. The S&P 500 fell 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite dipped 1%%. The major averages are all slipping from their respective records reached in the previous session, on track to break their five-day winning streaks.
Shares of UPS tumbled more than 8% as the shipping company’s domestic revenue came up shy of estimates. UPS beat on the top and bottom lines, however, as a surge in e-commerce orders continued.
Tesla erased earlier gains and fell 1.5% following a better-than-expected second-quarter earnings report. The electric vehicle maker passed $1 billion in quarterly net income for the first time.
The sell-off on Wall Street followed yet another day of heavy losses in Asian markets. The Hang Seng index dropped more than 4% Tuesday amid Beijing’s intensified crackdown on tech and education companies.
“Market volatility is on the rise, as worries about new virus strains have been exacerbated by stretched positioning and light summer trading,” Jean Boivin, head of BlackRock Investment Institute, said in a note.
Investors are awaiting the Federal Reserve’s update on its monetary policy as the central bank’s two-day meeting began. The Federal Open Market Committee will release a statement when the meeting concludes Wednesday, followed by Chairman Jerome Powell’s news conference.
The International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday that there’s a risk inflation will prove to be more than just transitory, pushing central banks to take pre-emptive action.
“I empathize with Fed Chair Jay Powell as he walks a delicate tightrope — preparing markets for tapering while assuring that the Fed will be very patient and thoughtful as it starts its normalization process,” Invesco Chief Global Market Strategist Kristina Hooper said in a note.
The second-quarter earnings season kicked into high gear this week with Google-parent Alphabet, Microsoft and Apple set to report after the bell Tuesday.
So far, 88% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive EPS surprise, according to FactSet. If 88% is the final percentage, it will mark the highest percentage since FactSet began tracking this metric in 2008.
“It appears that we’re going to get really solid earnings from these companies and that should give a little bit of a boost to the market. Some of these names have already run so much this year that perhaps we don’t get a large bounce,” said Victoria Fernandez, Crossmark Global Investments’ chief market strategist.
“Apple may be your best opportunity to see some movement because they’ve been in more of a consolidation phase over the last few months,” Fernandez added.