US close: Stocks end session in the red as earnings and IMF global growth downgrade take centre stage
Wall Street stocks closed lower on Tuesday as corporate earnings, geopolitical tensions and a downgrade in global growth forecasts were all in focus throughout the session.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.19% at 34,297.73, while the S&P 500 was 1.22% weaker at 4,356.45 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 2.28% softer at 13,539.29.
The Dow closed 66.77 points lower on Tuesday, taking a bite out of gains recorded in the previous session as the blue-chip index staged its largest intraday comeback since March 2020.
Stocks ended the session in the red on Tuesday as investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting, scheduled to wrap up at 1900 GMT on Wednesday.
Geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine were also in focus, with President Joe Biden speaking with European leaders amid fears of a Russian invasion, as was the impact of the Covid-19 Omicron variant on the economic recovery after the International Monetary Fund took an axe to its global growth forecasts, saying it now expects a figure of 4.4%, down from previous estimates for a reading of 4.9%.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was slightly higher at 1.782% at the end of trading on Tuesday.
In the corporate space, General Electric shares slumped after the company topped quarterly earnings expectations but missed on revenues.
Elsewhere, 3M reported better than expected earnings, American Express also topped expectations amid 'record' card spending, Lockheed Martin posted an earnings beat, and Raytheon Technologies also surpassed fourth-quarter earnings estimates,
Xerox's Q4 earnings and sales took a hit from the Covid-19 pandemic, and Johnson & Johnson posted mixed earnings but said it expects to see $3.5bn in Covid vaccine sales in 2022.
After the close, Microsoft beat on earnings and revenues with its second-quarter earnings and Texas Instruments also beat fourth-quarter expectations with its fourth-quarter earnings.
On the macro front, S&P/Case-Shiller's house price index increased 18.8% year-on-year in November, despite being the start of a traditionally slower season for the home market. The 10-city composite rose 16.8% year-on-year, down from 17.2% in October, while the 20- city composite grew 18.3%, down from 18.5% in the previous month.
Also in data news, US consumer confidence deteriorated in January as short-term expectations weakened, with the Conference Board's consumer confidence index declining to 113.8 from 115.2 in December, but was above expectations for a reading of 111.8.
The present situation index, based on consumers' assessment of current business and labour market conditions, rose to 148.2 from 144.8, while the expectations index, based on the short-term outlook for income, business and labour market conditions, fell to 90.8 in January from 95.4 in December