Stocks finished mixed on Wednesday as investors digested a slew of earnings reports and economic updates. The Dow dropped 79 points, while the S&P 500 added 0.5%, notching a record closing level. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9% to also finish at an all-time high.
Eight of 11 S&P 500 sectors ended the day in positive territory. Technology stocks outperformed, led by a rally in semiconductor companies. According to FactSet, over 25% of S&P 500 companies have reported their second-quarter results, with 78% beating consensus estimates. Boeing lost 3.1% after posting its biggest quarterly loss in history due to the prolonged grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft. Texas Instruments rose 7.4% after generating stronger-than-expected profits and revenues. Caterpillar fell 4.5% after disappointing earnings results attributed to weaker demand in the Asia-Pacific region. UPS climbed 8.7%, its best gain since 2008, following positive quarterly results. AT&T rose 3.6% after matching consensus profit estimates and delivering a top line beat.
On the data front, new home sales jumped 7% in June, rebounding from the prior month’s downwardly revised 8.2% slump. A separate release from research firm Markit showed manufacturing PMI slipped to 50.0 in July, the lowest reading since 2009. Overseas, the eurozone’s manufacturing PMI declined to the lowest level since December 2012 in the previous month. Treasuries strengthened, with the yield on the 10-year note down three basis points to 2.04%. In commodities, WTI crude fell 1.7% to $55.59/barrel despite an industry report that showed a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles.