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U.S. Stocks See Late-Day Weakness Amid Renewed Brexit Uncertainty

wallstreet july20 22oct19 lt

Stocks turned in a lackluster performance throughout much of the trading day Tuesday but came under pressure in the latter part of the session. The major averages all pulled back into negative territory, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq showing a notable drop.

After ending the previous session at its best closing level in a month, the Nasdaq slid 58.69 points or 0.7 percent to 8,104.30. The S&P 500 also pulled back off a one-month closing high, falling 10.73 points or 0.4 percent to 2,995.99, while the Dow dipped 39.54 points or 0.2 percent to 26,788.10.

The late-day pullback may have reflected renewed uncertainty about Brexit after U.K. lawmakers voted to move forward with legislation related to Britain's withdrawal from the European Union but then voted against a shortened time frame to review the bill.

Members of Parliament narrowly voted against the limited time frame, which would have provided just three days to evaluate the legislation.

The vote suggests lawmakers will not meet an October 31st deadline, setting the stage for another extension by the EU to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

The choppy trading seen earlier in the session came as traders digested the latest batch of earnings news, with mixed results from some big-name companies pulling the markets in opposite directions.

Shares of McDonald's (MCD) came under pressure after the fast food giant reported third quarter results that missed analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Delivery giant UPS (UPS) also saw notable weakness after reporting third quarter earnings that beat expectations but on weaker than expected sales.

Meanwhile, shares of Procter & Gamble (PG) moved notably higher after the consumer products giant reported better than expected fiscal first quarter results.

Fellow Dow component United Technologies (UTX) also moved to the upside after reporting third quarter results that beat estimates and raising its full-year guidance.

On the U.S. economic front, the National Association of Realtors released a report showing existing home sales pulled back by much more than anticipated in the month of September.

NAR said existing home sales plunged by 2.2 percent to an annual rate of 5.38 million in September after jumping by 1.5 percent to an upwardly revised 5.50 million in August.

Economists had expected existing home sales to drop by 0.7 percent to a rate of 5.45 million from the 5.49 million originally reported for the previous month.

Sector News

Despite the pullback by the broader markets, most of the major sectors ended the day showing only modest moves.

Software stocks showed a significant move to the downside, however, with the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index slumping by 1.8 percent.

The index continued to give back ground after ending last Tuesday's trading at it best closing level in well over two months.

On the other hand, energy stocks moved notably higher, benefiting from a sharp increase by the price of crude oil. Crude for December delivery jumped $0.97 to $54.48 a barrel.

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index surged up by 2.4 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index and the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index rose by 1.4 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday, although the Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. China's Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.5 percent, while South Korea's Kospi jumped by 1.2 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside over the course of the session. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index edged up by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index crept up by 0.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries moved notably higher going into the close of trading. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, dipped 2.4 basis points to 1.768 percent.

Looking Ahead

Earnings news is likely to remain in focus on Wednesday, with Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Snap (SNAP), Texas Instruments (TXN), and Whirlpool (WHR) among the companies releasing their quarterly results after the close of today's trading.

Caterpillar (CAT), Eli Lilly (LLY), Hilton (HLT), and Winnebago (WGO) are also among the companies due to report their results before the start of trading on Wednesday.

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