U.S. stocks fell for a second day on Tuesday as strong corporate earnings failed to boost a market already near record highs, while an alarming rise in global COVID cases raised concerns about the recovery.
The Dow Jones Industrials plummeted 256.33 points to close Tuesday at 33,821.30, as Boeing and Nike both dropped more than 4%.
The S&P 500 deleted 28.32 points to 4,134.94.
The NASDAQ Composite weakened 128.5 points to 13,786.27.
Reopening plays such as airlines and cruise line operators led losses on Tuesday. United Airlines plunged 8.5% after the carrier reported its fifth consecutive quarterly loss and said that business and international travel recovery is still far off. American Airlines fell 5.5%, while Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line both slid over 4%.
The selloff in shares that are tied to a successful reopening came as the World Health Organization warned that global coronavirus infections were edging toward their highest level in the pandemic. In the U.S., while the country is maintaining a pace of three million reported vaccinations per day, about 67,100 daily new infections are still being recorded.
Procter & Gamble shares rose 0.8% after the consumer giant reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations with pandemic home-care trends lingering and beauty sales picking up.
The first-quarter earnings season got off to a strong start with 90% of the S&P 500 companies that have reported so far topping expectations by more than 20% on average. The beat rate is three times the historical average, according to data from Earnings Scout.
Johnson & Johnson shares gained 2.3% following better-than-expected earnings and revenue. The company also reported $100 million in first-quarter sales of its COVID-19 vaccine that’s on hold in the U.S. while health regulators investigate a rare blood-clotting issue.
Another Dow component, Travelers Companies, edged up 0.9% after quarterly results that topped Wall Street’s estimates. The company also raised its quarterly cash dividend and approved an additional $5 billion of share buybacks.
Tesla rebounded slightly after dropping more than 3% in the previous session as bitcoin — which makes up some of Tesla’s balance sheet— tanked over the weekend.
Prices for 10-Year Treasurys gained, lowering yields to 1.56% from Monday’s 1.61%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices doffed 77 cents to $62.61 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices recovered $7.90 to $1,778.50 U.S. an ounce.