Wall Street treads water as earnings wave nears

Tepid results from Tesla and 3M weighed on Wall Street on Tuesday as investors focused on an approaching wave of earnings reports from Microsoft, Alphabet and other corporate heavyweights.

Electric-car maker Tesla Inc dropped 3% after its quarterly results late on Monday fell short of some investors’ expectations, with its revenue beat largely supported by sales of environmental credits and selling bitcoin, rather than vehicle sales. read more

Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc slipped ahead of their quarterly reports after the bell. Shares of Apple Inc , Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc , slated to report later this week, were mixed.

First-quarter overall earnings per share for S&P 500 companies are expected to jump 35% from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ended at record levels on Monday, and have mainly been supported by ebbing inflation worries, improving economic data, swift vaccine distribution and unprecedented monetary and fiscal measures.

“We are in that spot where the economy is recovering, there is stimulus money to be spent and people have increased their desire and propensity to consume. For the remainder of the year, you’re going to see some fairly optimistic thoughts,” said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta.

Investors will monitor the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting for cues on the central bank’s thinking on inflation, bond buying and risks to the financial system posed by soaring asset prices. The Fed is not expected to change its policy guidance at the end of the meeting on Wednesday. read more

In the latest upbeat economic data, U.S. consumer confidence jumped to a 14-month high in April as more services businesses reopened on increased vaccinations and additional fiscal stimulus.

In afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was down 0.01% at 33,979.71 points, while the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 0.02% to 4,186.61.

The Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) dropped -0.31% to 14,094.32.

Also expected to report after the bell on Tuesday were companies including Visa (V.N), Texas Instruments (TXN.O), Amgen (AMGN.O) and Starbucks (SBUX.O).

United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) jumped 11% after it topped estimates for quarterly revenue. read more

General Electric (GE.N)fell 2.2% after it disappointed investors who were expecting the industrial conglomerate to upgrade its 2021 outlook. read more

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.06-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.39-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 45 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 113 new highs and 17 new lows.