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Markets

Wall Street edges lower as Tesla, 3M weigh; big tech earnings in focus

  • Tesla slips despite revenue beat.
  • 3M slides on warning of higher costs.
  • UPS jumps as revenue tops expectations.
  • Indexes down: Dow 0.07%, S&P 0.14%, Nasdaq 0.35%.
27 Apr 2021

Lackluster results from Tesla and 3M dragged Wall Street's main indexes lower on Tuesday, shifting investor focus to earnings from big technology companies, including Microsoft and Alphabet, later in the day.

Electric-car maker Tesla Inc tumbled 4%, dragging down the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, as it earnings beat was supported more by sales of environmental credits and bitcoin liquidation rather than auto sales.

"Tesla is a special case. A lot of the gains for the company were driven by its bitcoin bet, which is a sideline. It's good that it sold a lot of cars, but it didn't make a lot of money from the cars," said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc slipped more than 0.5% each, while shares of Apple Inc, Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc, slated to report later this week, were mixed. The five companies combined account for about 40% of the S&P 500's market capitalization.

"What we're really looking forward to is guidance about where we're going in the next six months to a year and that is going to set the tone for the markets," Forrest said.

Shares of 3M Co slipped 2.9% after the conglomerate said supply chain disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic and the February winter storm were pushing its costs higher.

Overall earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to jump 34.3% in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ended at record levels on Monday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq completing a full recovery from its 11% correction that began in February.

Recent data indicating that the US economy was set for a strong rebound, backed by vaccine distributions and unprecedented monetary and fiscal support, has provided much of that support.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is not expected to change its policy guidance at the end of its two-day meeting on Wednesday but could shine some light on US central bank's thinking on inflation, bond buying and risks to the financial system posed by soaring asset prices.

Data showed US consumer confidence jumped to a 14-month high in April as increased vaccination against COVID-19 and additional fiscal stimulus allowed for more services businesses to reopen, boosting demand and hiring by companies.

At 10:13 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 23.15 points, or 0.07%, at 33,958.42, the S&P 500 was down 5.87 points, or 0.14%, at 4,181.75 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 50.07 points, or 0.35%, at 14,088.70.

United Parcel Service Inc jumped 11.2% after it topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue.

General Electric fell 3.5% as it disappointed investors who were expecting the industrial conglomerate to upgrade its 2021 outlook.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.03-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.14-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 31 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 75 new highs and five new lows.

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