Stocks pulled lower on Wall Street Tuesday following a mixed set of earnings reports from dozens of big U.S. companies.
The S&P 500 fell 20.97 points, or 0.6%, to 3,218.44 after a last-hour slide erased a small gain from earlier in the day. Caution across markets also helped send Treasury yields a bit lower and gold a bit further into record heights.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 205.49 points, or 0.8%, to 26,379.28, and the Nasdaq composite lost 134.18, or 1.3%, to 10,402.09.
This week marks the heart of earnings reporting season for the S&P 500, and several big companies gave results that fell short of analysts’ already lowered expectations as the pandemic stole customers away and increased some costs.
3M was a particularly heavy weight on the Dow after dropping 4.8%. The maker of N95 masks and various other products for consumers and businesses reported a profit for the latest quarter that fell shy of analysts’ expectations. It said sales trends have been improving this month, but it also said there’s still too much uncertainty to offer forecasts for future performance.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged dipped to 0.58% from 0.60% late Monday.
Gold, which has rocketed this year on worries about the economy, rose $13.60 to settle at $1,944.60 per ounce. It earlier touched $1,974.40 to set an intraday record for the most actively traded contract for the second straight day.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 56 cents to settle at $41.04 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, slipped 19 cents to $43.22 per barrel.