The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed weaker on Tuesday, the first day of seasonally slow August, ahead of U.S. jobs data and major companies’ earnings reports later this week.
U.S. 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 added 8.9% 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 5.7% after the ride-hailing company missed second-quarter revenue expectations.
Among pharmaceutical heavyweights, Pfizer 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.