Stocks closed lower on Wall Street, pulling major indexes back slightly from the records they set a day earlier. Weakness in big technology companies was the biggest factor for the decline Tuesday. The S&P 500 fell 0.5% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 1.2%. Markets have been choppy as investors try to get a clearer picture of how well the economy is recovering from the pandemic and when the Federal Reserve will eventually ease up on its support for the economy, the AP reports The central bank will release its latest report on Wednesday. The S&P 500 fell 20.84 points, to 4,401.46. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 85.79 points, or 0.2%, to 35,058.52. The Nasdaq fell 180.14 points to 14,660.58.
Technology companies and a mix of consumer-oriented companies were among the biggest losers. Microsoft fell 1.9% and Apple fell 2%. Both companies are set to report their latest results after the close of trading. Investors shifted money to sectors seen as less risky, including utilities and companies that make household and personal goods. They also bought bonds, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury note down to 1.24% from 1.27% late Monday. Investors considered a mixed bag of earnings from several large companies. UPS slumped 7% after its revenue for the latest quarter fell short of analysts’ forecasts. Wall Street brushed off seemingly solid results from several other companies. Tesla fell 2.8% and industrial conglomerate 3M fell 1%, despite reporting solid financial results.
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