Stocks had a muddled session Tuesday, as investors worked through a large batch of corporate earnings from a range of companies including Gilead Sciences, McDonald's and Texas Instruments.
McDonald's shares had their biggest one-day percentage decline since the financial crisis, weighing heavily on the Dow Jones industrial average.
The Dow edged down 19.31 points, or 0.1%, to 18,473.75. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was effectively flat, rising 0.7 point, or 0.03%, to 2,169.18. The Nasdaq composite rose 12.42 points, or 0.2%, to 5,110.05.
McDonald's shares fell 4.5% to $121.71. Because the Dow is price-weighted and McDonald's is among the most expensive of the 30 stocks that compose it, the company's shares have an outsized influence on the index.
McDonald's reported disappointing growth in the U.S. Sales rose a meager 1.8% from a year earlier, even though the restaurant chain rolled out an all-day breakfast menu.
This is Wall Street's busiest week for corporate earnings, with 203 members of the S&P 500 reporting their results. So far, earnings have been better than analysts had anticipated. Roughly 68% of the companies that have reported their results have beaten expectations, according to FactSet.
"You've seen better earnings, especially from companies that do a lot of business internationally," said Kate Warne, investment strategist for Edward Jones. "It is part of what's powered the market higher in July."
The market's rally this month has given some investors pause. After a wobble in the days following Britain's vote in late June to leave the European Union, the S&P 500 has surged 3.3%. Now the index is trading at 19 times expected earnings, which is historically high: It typically trades at 14 to 16 times expected earnings.
"We have moved very far, very fast after the U.K. vote," said David Lebovitz, a global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management. "We are going to need a bit of time to find the market's new neutral spot after this run-up."
The Federal Reserve started two-day policy meeting Tuesday. Economists do not expect the U.S. central bank to raise interest rates from the current range of 0.25% to 0.5%, but they will be looking for any signals that policymakers seek to raise rates later this year.
An interest rate decision is expected Wednesday afternoon.
In other company earnings, Texas Instruments rose 8% to $71.42 after the technology company reported quarterly results that were better than anticipated and issued a strong forecast for the third quarter.
Consumer and industrial products manufacturer 3M fell 1.1% to $177.66 after the maker of Post-Its and Scotch Tape said it was trimming its sales forecast for the year.
Drugmaker Gilead Sciences fell 8.5% to $81.05 after the Foster City, Calif., company cut its full-year sales. Although Gilead saw sales gains in its HIV drugs, it said it was facing pricing pressure and slower-than-expected demand for its most important drug, Harvoni, which cures Hepatitis C, and its other Hep-C drugs like Solvaldi.
Benchmark U.S. crude fell 21 cents to $42.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 15 cents to $44.87 a barrel in London.
Heating oil rose less than 1 cent to $1.33 a gallon, wholesale gasoline futures rose 1 cent to $1.35 a gallon and natural gas fell 4 cents to $2.71 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note slipped to 1.56% from 1.57%. The dollar fell to 104.62 yen from 105.85.
Gold rose $1.30 to $1,320.80 an ounce, silver rose 4 cents to $19.68 an ounce and copper rose less than a penny to $2.23 a pound.
2:30 p.m.: This article was updated with additional information.
1:25 p.m.: This article was updated with closing prices.