Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq finish mixed as earnings season picks up steam
Stocks greeted the latest round of corporate earnings with a mixed performance, as the major averages sputtered a bit after a two-day rally.
The Nasdaq Composite (COMP.IND) closed -0.3%, the S&P 500 (SP500) finished -0.1% and the Dow (DJI) ended +0.3%. Earnings-related gains in Travelers (TRV) and Verizon (VZ) boosted the Dow.
The Dow Jones climbed 104.40 points to finish at 33,733.96, marking its third consecutive day of gains. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq slipped 30.14 points to close at 11,334.27 and the S&P 500 ticked down 2.86 points to 4,016.95.
In keeping with the day's mixed performance, the S&P sectors showed a muted performance across the board. Six of the 11 groups ended the day in the green. However, no market segment moved more than 1% in either direction.
Trading came with an early snag, as the New York Stock Exchange saw an unusual number of halts at the open, including major stocks such as Morgan Stanley (MS), McDonald's (MCD) and Altria (MO). Most resumed trading shortly after.
Earnings news took most of the spotlight on Tuesday. 3M (MMM) slumped after its quarterly update included a weak sales forecast. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) was largely unchanged in the wake of its financial figures.
Elsewhere, Travelers (TRV) pushed higher after its revenue beat expectations, with investors shrugging off a bottom line that was hurt by catastrophe losses. Earnings news sent Verizon (VZ) higher as well.
Some key defense names also played into the day's earnings reports. Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Raytheon Technologies (RTX) both rose following their earnings reports.
"LMT and RTX posted gains as the geopolitical landscape continued to support the defense sector," analyst Andrew Hecht told Seeking Alpha. "LMT and RTX were heading for bullish key reversals on the daily chart if they close above Monday's high, which could lead to a continuation rally."
Looking to bond markets, rates retreated. The 10-year Treasury yield (US10Y) declined 6 basis points to 3.46% and the 2-year yield (US2Y) dipped almost 3 basis points to 4.22%.
Outside of earnings news, Cassava Sciences (SAVA) posted a double-digit percentage slide after announcing clinical trial data for its Alzheimer’s candidate.