Stocks struggled to get off the ground on Tuesday amid concerns that a visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will raise political tensions between Washington and Beijing. This marks the first visit by a House speaker to Taiwan since 1997 – and sparked warnings by China of retaliatory measures. It claims the self-ruled island as part of its territory.
And underwhelming jobs data did little to lift investor sentiment. The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLTS) data showed job openings fell to 10.7 million in June from 11.3 million in May.
The number of hires and quits also slowed on a month-over-month basis, which could indicate the job market is leveling off, says Robert Conzo, CEO of investment advisory firm The Wealth Alliance. “We believe the Fed will utilize this data point to determine if the economy is slowing,” Conzo adds. “Although continued interest rate rises may occur in the near term, data such as this may warrant smaller hikes than originally planned, helping the Fed to engineer a soft-landing.”
On the earnings front, Caterpillar (CAT) fell 5.8% as the construction giant’s top-line miss overshadowed higher-than-expected earnings. Plus, CAT’s Q2 sales are still lower than pre-pandemic levels, and the company’s 11% year-over-year rise in revenue is more reflective of higher prices versus additional products being sold, says CFRA Research analyst Colin Scarola.
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Caterpillar’s loss weighed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell 1.2% to 32,396. The S&P 500 Index (-0.7% at 4,091) and Nasdaq Composite (-0.2% to 12,348) also ended in negative territory.
Other news in the stock market today:
- The small-cap Russell 2000 eded marginally lower at 1,882.
- U.S. crude futures gained 0.6% to settle at $94.42 per barrel.
- Gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,789.70 an ounce, their fifth straight win.
- Bitcoin edged down to $22,962.37. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m.)
- Uber Technologies (UBER) soared 18.9% after the ride-hailing company reported adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $364 million and revenue of $8.07 billion in its second quarter. Plus, the company said gross bookings were up 33% year-over-year to $29.1 billion. “We are constructive on the risk/reward for the stock with positive share and margin trends,” says BofA Global Research analyst Justin Post (Buy).
- Pinterest (PINS) spiked 11.6% today after the social media stock reported earnings. While PINS adjusted earnings per share of 11 cents and revenue of $666 million were both below analysts’ estimates, global monthly users of 433 beat …….