Wall Street’s main indexes were propped up by a rise in shares of Boeing and Apple, but gains were capped as weak earnings from Caterpillar and Texas instruments raised concerns about the impact of the U.S.-China trade war on global growth.
Apple Inc shares rose 1%, after Morgan Stanley said the iPhone maker’s soon-to-be-launched video streaming service, Apple TV+, could boost its services revenue.
A 4% rise in Boeing Co shares lifted the blue-chip Dow Jones index after the planemaker reaffirmed the timeline for its grounded 737 MAX’s return to service.
However, a profit warning from Texas Instruments hinted that the chip industry was being squeezed both by a downturn in global demand and by the U.S.-China trade war. The company’s shares were down 7%.
Caterpillar Inc slipped 1% following its disappointing forecast.
The Philadelphia Semiconductor index fell 1.6% in early trading, while the S&P 500 industrials sector dipped 0.1%.
“What I think is causing the hesitation is the fear of other bellwether companies also disappointing,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
Investors are now waiting for results from big tech firms, with Microsoft Corp scheduled to report after market close.
“A name like Microsoft could counter a McDonald’s and investors’ mindsets could be brought back on track while we wait for trade and continual monitoring of the economic cycle,” Bakhos added.
The earnings season has largely been upbeat, with over 80 of the 100 companies topping analysts’ estimates for profit, according to Refinitiv data. But analysts still project the first earnings contraction since 2016.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65.46 points, or 0.24%, to 26,853.56, the S&P 500 gained 3.38 points, or 0.11%, to 2,999.37 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3.20 points, or 0.04%, to 8,107.50.
The S&P 500 is hovering near its record high on signs of progress in trade talks between the world’s top two economies.
A handful of healthcare companies with low exposure to China rose on strong results. Drugmaker Alexion Pharmaceuticals gained 5.7% after raising full-year forecast.
Medical device makers Boston Scientific Corp and Thermo Fisher Scientific gained about 5% each as quarterly profits beat estimates.
However, Eli Lilly and Co fell 5% after the drugmaker missed third-quarter revenue estimates.
Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc dropped 2% after JPMorgan downgraded the drugstore chain’s stock to “neutral” from “overweight”.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.30-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.07-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 10 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 23 new highs and 32 new lows. (Reuters)