The S&P 500 index ended the trading day on Wednesday slightly lower due a combination of falling crude prices and concerns over additional trade tariffs that held markets in check.
The Nasdaq posted its seventh consecutive daily advance, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down marginally. The S&P 500’s dip occurred as the index has inched closer in recent days to its record high set on Jan. 26.
China introduced new 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion worth of goods imported from the United States in the latest tit-for-tat in the escalating trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.
Trade-sensitive industrial companies were the worst drag on the Dow. The decline was led by Boeing and Caterpillar.
The S&P energy index fell 0.8 percent as crude prices declined due to slowing Chinese demand and trade concerns. Meanwhile, the technology index provided the largest lift to the S&P 500, led by Microsoft, Facebook and Alphabet.
Shares of Tesla fell 2.4 percent as its board evaluated Elon Musk’s idea of taking the electric automaker private, a day after the chief executive surprised the market by floating the proposal on Twitter.
Second-quarter earnings season has entered the home stretch, and of the 440 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported so far, 78.6 percent have exceeded Street expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Disney fell 2.2 percent after its quarterly earnings number failed to meet expectations, and after a source reported that China has denied the company’s request to screen its film “Christopher Robin” in the country.
Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox showed a small gain in post-market trading after posting better-than-expected results.
Among gainers, CVS Health did better than expected and announced it now expects its acquisition of Aetna to close in the latter half of 2018. CVS rose 4.2 percent.
Mylan recovered from earlier losses after stating it was actively evaluating a “wide range of alternatives” following a disappointing earnings report. The stock ended the session up 1.8 percent.
Michael Kors rose 6.7 percent after exceeding analyst earnings consensus and raising its full-year forecast.
Approximately 5.95 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, as compared to the 6.31 billion average over the past 20 trading days.