U.S. Stocks Giving Back Ground Ahead Of Tech Earnings, Fed Announcement

Stocks have moved mostly lower in morning trading on Tuesday, with the major averages giving back ground after closing higher for five consecutive sessions and ending Monday’s trading at new record closing highs.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq has fallen to a new low for the session in recent trading and is currently down 211.94 points or 1.4 percent at 14,628.78. The Dow is down 121.27 points or 0.4 percent at 35,023.04 and the S&P 500 is down 21.10 points or 0.5 percent at 4,401.20.

The pullback on Wall Street may partly reflect uncertainty ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

Traders are likely to pay close attention to the Fed’s statement for any clues the central bank is considering scaling back its asset purchase program.

Tech giants Alphabet (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) are also among the companies releasing their quarterly results after the close of today’s trading, which may be contributing to some anxiety among traders.

On the earnings front, shares of UPS (UPS) have moved sharply lower after the delivery giant reported second quarter earnings that beat estimates but weaker than expected domestic revenue.

Electric car maker Tesla (TSLA) has also come under pressure despite reporting second quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates.

Meanwhile, shares of General Electric (GE) have moved to the upside after the conglomerate reported better than expected second quarter results.

In economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods saw continued growth in the month of June, although the increase came in well below expectations.

The report said durable goods orders climbed by 0.8 percent in June after spiking by an upwardly revised 3.2 percent in May.

Economists had been expecting orders to surge up by 2.1 percent compared to the 2.3 percent jump that had been reported for the previous month.

Excluding orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders rose by 0.3 percent in June following a 0.5 percent increase in May. Ex-transportation orders were expected to climb by 0.8 percent.

A separate report from the Conference Board showed consumer confidence in the U.S. saw a slight improvement from an upwardly revised level in the month of July.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index inched up to 129.1 in July from an upwardly revised 128.9 in June. Economists had expected the index to drop to 124.9 from the 127.3 originally reported for the previous month.

With the unexpected uptick, the consumer confidence index reached its highest level since hitting 132.6 in February of 2020.

Computer hardware stocks have moved sharply lower in morning trading, dragging the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index down by 3 percent.

Significant weakness has also emerged among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 1.9 percent drop by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Oil service, transportation and biotechnology stocks are also seeing considerable weakness, while tobacco stocks are among the few groups bucking the downtrend.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.5 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index plunged by 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 0.5 and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.6 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing some strength amid the pullback on Wall Street. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.8 basis points at 1.248 percent.

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