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US: Stocks fall as Goldman, J&J results disappoint

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[BENGALURU] Disappointing quarterly results from corporate heavyweights Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson dragged down major Wall Street indexes on Tuesday.

At 9:41 a.m. ET (1341 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 66.05 points, or 0.32 per cent, at 20,570.87, the S&P 500 was down 4.4 points, or 0.19 per cent, at 2,344.61 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 8.21 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 5,848.58.

The S&P 500 healthcare sector tumbled 0.83 per cent, as Johnson & Johnson fell 2.6 per cent after the company reported quarterly revenue that missed analysts' expectations.

The financial sector was pressured by a 3.5 per cent decline in Goldman Sachs, which reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit due to weak trading revenue.

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Goldman influenced other major US banks, including Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, which traded lower.

Bank of America pared most of its premarket gains and was up 0.5 per cent even after reporting a quarterly profit that beat expectations. "The key for the market is still earnings, economic growth etc, and politics is merely a daily side show," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago, Illinois.

Following a strong post-election rally, especially in the banking sector, investors are now looking at quarterly earnings to help justify lofty valuations in the market.

Adding to the downbeat sentiment was a warning from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that tax reforms could be delayed following setbacks in negotiations with Congress over healthcare.

Safe-havens continued to be in favour ahead of crucial presidential elections in France, rising tensions between the United States and North Korea and the possibility of snap elections in Britain.

Netflix, the first of the FANG stocks to report, was down 2 per cent at US$144.37 after the video streaming service provider reported weaker-than-expected subscriber numbers in the first quarter, but forecast strong growth in the current quarter.

One bright spot was Dow component UnitedHealth whose shares rose 1.3 per cent to US$169.25 after the health insurer reported better-than-expected quarterly results and raised its profit and revenue forecasts for the year.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,776 to 821. On the Nasdaq, 1,602 issues fell and 693 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed nine 52-week highs and two lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 15 highs and 16 lows.