Stocks finished lower Tuesday, as investors digested a slew of third-quarter earnings reports and looked ahead to tomorrow’s Federal Reserve policy decision. The S&P 500 dipped 0.1%, pulling back from a fresh intra-day record high reached earlier in the session. The Dow lost 19 points, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.6%.
The Health Care group outperformed with Pfizer and Merck both advancing following positive earnings releases that included a boost to their respective full-year outlooks. The Communication Services sector lagged with Google parent Alphabet sliding 2.2% after its profit tally fell short of Wall Street expectations. Shares of BP lost 3.3% after reporting a sharp decline in profits. General Motors climbed 4.3% as solid U.S. sales of trucks and SUVs outweighed the implications of a 40-day labor strike. GrubHub tumbled 43.3% after the food delivery service widely missed consensus earnings estimates, inciting a handful of analyst downgrades.
A report that the U.S. and China may not sign a partial deal next month tempered optimism a day after both sides noted progress of the “phase one” trade pact. Treasuries modestly advanced, with the yield on the 10-year note down one basis point to 1.83%. On the data front, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index came in at 125.9 in October, missing expectations of 128.0. Separately, pending home sales advanced 1.5% in September, while another report from S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller showed home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose at an annualized 2.03% clip in August.