NEW YORK: Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Tuesday as investors assessed mixed earnings from industry heavyweights and digested data that showed manufacturing activity slowed more than expected in July.

Keeping a lid on Dow’s losses, Caterpillar advanced 7.4% 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 shed 5.4% after the ride-hailing company missed second-quarter revenue expectations. Among pharmaceutical heavyweights, Pfizer edged lower in choppy trading after the drugmaker fell short of Wall Street expectations for quarterly revenue, hit by declining sales of its COVID-19 products. Merck eased 0.8% even as it raised its full-year profit forecast after posting a smaller-than-expected second-quarter loss.

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

“What we’ve seen is that most companies have beaten earnings expectations but when you peel that back a bit, the underlying expectation is that earnings are going to decline,” said Mike Olsen, portfolio manager at Motley Fool Asset Management. “Investors are digesting earnings and macro numbers and are weighing the possibility of a recession versus a soft landing and what that may mean for rate cuts.”

On the economic data front, US manufacturing appeared to have stabilized at weaker levels in July amid a gradual improvement in new orders, while a survey showed factory employment dropped to a three-year low, suggesting that layoffs were accelerating.

Hurting shares of megacap growth firms such as Tesla and Amazon.com, whose valuations come under pressure when borrowing costs rise, yield on the benchmark 10-year treasury note climbed over 4%.

Arista Networks jumped 20.1% as the network gear maker forecast quarterly revenue above estimates after delivering better-than-expected results. At 11:40 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 15.93 points, or 0.04%, at 35,543.60, the S&P 500 was down 15.26 points, or 0.33%, at 4,573.70, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 52.72 points, or 0.37%, at 14,293.30.

US equities ended July on a strong footing, buoyed by better-than-expected earnings, and hopes of a soft landing for the economy that has stayed strong in the face of tighter credit conditions while inflation has cooled.

The benchmark S&P 500 hit a more than 15-month high on Monday, and is about 4.6% away from breaching its record high closing level, notched on Jan. 3, 2022. Norwegian Cruise Line sank 12.8% after it forecast third-quarter profit below estimates on higher costs.

JetBlue Airways tumbled 8.8% after lowering its annual profit forecast, citing a hit from the termination of its revenue-sharing deal with American Airlines. Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 3.14-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.10-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P 500 recorded 20 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq saw 57 new highs and 43 new lows.

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