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Stocks fall, snapping a five-day win streak

New York Stock Exchange
Investors are cautiously assessing the first big round of corporate earnings reports.
(Bryan R. Smith / AFP/Getty Images)

Stocks on Wall Street ended broadly lower Tuesday, ending the Standard & Poor’s 500 index’s five-day winning streak, as investors cautiously assessed the first big round of corporate earnings reports.

Technology stocks fared the worst. Microsoft slid 1.3%, and Intel retreated 1.9%.

Johnson & Johnson led healthcare stocks down with a decline of 1.6%. The healthcare and pharmaceutical company’s full-year profit forecast remained mostly below analysts’ projections.

Financial stocks gave up early gains and turned mostly lower, although Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase rose. Energy companies also fell broadly.

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Major indexes were mixed much of the morning and turned lower at midday after President Trump said, “We have a long way to go on tariffs with China.”

The S&P 500 fell 10.26 points, or 0.3%, to 3,004.04. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 23.53 points, or 0.1%, to 27,335.63. The Nasdaq composite fell 35.39 points, or 0.4%, to 8,222.80.

Small-company stocks rose slightly. The Russell 2000 index edged up 0.17 of a point to 1,562.

A surprisingly good retail sales report for June had little effect on consumer product makers’ stocks, though it did help push down bond prices. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.12% from 2.09%.

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Industrial companies fared the best. JB Hunt Transport Services jumped 5.6% after the company beat Wall Street’s second-quarter profit forecasts. The trucking and logistics company also told investors that it expects volume will pick up in the second half of the year. Several other trucking and cargo-related companies also made gains. Ryder System rose 3.7%, Old Dominion rose 3.2% and Union Pacific rose 1.4%.

The latest round of corporate financial reports ramps up this week, and investors have low expectations. Wall Street is forecasting a 2.6% drop in profit for S&P 500 companies. It is set to be the first back-to-back quarterly decline in three years.

Investors are looking for reasons to remain cautious as companies release results and give forecasts for the rest of the year, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer for Cresset Wealth management.

It’s still early to tally results, but so far the share of companies beating profit forecasts has been high while many are reporting revenue shortfalls.

“That certainly doesn’t bode well for growth in the second half,” he said.

Domino’s Pizza shares dropped 8.7% after the pizza chain fell far short of Wall Street forecasts for a key sales measure during the second quarter. Arrow Electronics fell 1.8% after the company slashed its second-quarter profit forecast because of weak demand.

Blue Apron surged 35.5% after the meal-kit company said it will start offering recipes with Beyond Meat’s plant-based food. The company will start offering the options in August. Despite the surge, Blue Apron is still down more than 90% from its initial public offering two years ago.

The influx of earnings reports is coming in as a highly anticipated Federal Reserve meeting draws near. Wall Street expects that at its meeting late this month, the central bank will raise interest rates to help secure U.S. economic growth threatened by the U.S.-China trade war.

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Investors will pay close attention to any second-half forecasts as companies continue to deal with trade uncertainties and the effect they could have on investments and expansion.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.96 to $57.62 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell $2.13 to $64.35 a barrel. Natural gas fell 10 cents to $2.31 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil fell 5 cents to $1.90 a gallon. Wholesale gasoline fell 4 cents to $1.89 a gallon.

The price of gold fell $2.30 to $1,411.20 an ounce. Silver rose 31 cents to $15.60 an ounce. Copper fell 1 cent to $2.69 a pound.


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