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S&P 500, Nasdaq end lower on first day of August in busy earnings week

August 1, 2023By Reuters

Aug 1 (Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed weaker on Tuesday, the first day of seasonally slow August, ahead of US jobs data and major companies’ earnings reports later this week.

US stocks ended July on a strong footing, as investors welcomed better-than-expected earnings. Support also came from hopes of a soft landing for the economy which has stayed resilient as inflation has cooled with rising interest rates.

The benchmark S&P 500 hit a 16-month high on Monday, and is less than 5% away from breaching its record-high closing level notched on Jan. 3, 2022.

“It’s been a really good run in June, July. And everybody sort of knows that August was historically a pretty weak seasonal month,” said Scott Ladner, chief investment officer of Horizon Investments. “So I think people are just taking the opportunity to lighten up a little bit.”

Keeping a lid on the Dow’s losses, Caterpillar (CAT) rose as the global economic bellwether reported a rise in second-quarter profit, though it warned of a sequential fall in current-quarter sales and margins.

Uber (UBER) fell after the ride-hailing company missed second-quarter revenue expectations.

Among pharmaceutical heavyweights, Pfizer (PFE) edged lower in choppy trading after the drugmaker’s quarterly revenue fell short of Wall Street expectations, hit by declining sales of its COVID-19 products.

US second-quarter earnings are now expected to fall 5.9% from a year earlier, Refinitiv data on Tuesday showed, compared with a 7.9% decline estimated a week earlier.

US manufacturing appeared to have stabilized at weaker levels in July as new orders gradually improved, while a survey showed factory employment dropped to a three-year low, suggesting that layoffs were accelerating.

Shares of megacap growth companies such as Tesla (TSLA) and Amazon.com (AMZN), whose valuations drop when borrowing costs rise, fell as the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note yield climbed over 4%.

Arista Networks (ANET) stocks rose as the network gear maker forecast quarterly revenue above estimates after delivering better-than-expected results.

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 lost 12.25 points, or 0.26%, to end at 4,576.94 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 62.11 points, or 0.43%, to 14,284.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 69.04 points, or 0.19%, to 35,628.57.

Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) tumbled after it forecast third-quarter profit below estimates, citing higher costs.

JetBlue Airways (JBLU) stocks dropped after it lowered its annual profit forecast due to a hit from the termination of its revenue-sharing deal with American Airlines (AAL).

(Reporting by Echo Wang in New York, Johann M Cherian and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Richard Chang)


This article originally appeared on reuters.com

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