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S&P 500 Slips From Record as Earnings Season Rally Loses Some Steam


The S&P 500 fell from a record high on Wednesday as the momentum from a strong earnings season started to fade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 266.19 points to 35,490.69, falling for the first time in four days, dragged down by Visa. The S&P 500 traded down 0.5% to 4,551.68, for its first down day in three. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed at 15,235.84, flat despite a jump in Microsoft and Alphabet shares.

Microsoft shares jumped 4.2% after the tech company reported earnings that exceeded analysts' estimates and the fastest revenue growth since 2018. Google-parent Alphabet also popped 4.9% following a stronger-than-expected quarterly report.

Visa's stock slipped 6.9% after the company issued a revenue outlook that some analysts considered conservative. Plus, the Justice Department is investigating Visa's relationship with financial-technology firms, sources familiar with the matter told Dow Jones.

General Motors shares fell 5.4% even after the industrial giant topped Wall Street's earnings and revenue estimates for the third quarter. Boeing saw its stock fall 1.5% after the aircraft maker posted a wider-than-expected loss.

Robinhood shares were getting slammed, down 10.4% the day after the trading app reported revenue well below expectations primarily due to weakness in crypto trading. Twitter shares also fell 10.7% on concerns about expense guidance, despite strong earnings.

So far roughly 38% of the S&P 500 has reported earnings. Of the names that have posted quarterly updates, 83% have topped earnings expectations, while 79% have exceeded revenue estimates.

"This earnings season has been about pricing momentum and whether consumers are able to handle surging costs," said Ed Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. "So far it seems the consumer can handle it," he added.

Strong results have been key to pushing the major averages to new highs. The S&P 500 has rallied 5.6% in October, on track for its best monthly performance since November 2020. The equity benchmark reached its 57th record close of 2021 on Tuesday.

Texas Instruments shares tumbled 5% after the company missed revenue estimates. Enphase Energy leaped 24.6% after reporting record revenue in the face of supply chain headwinds.

Coca-Cola rose 1.9% after the company posted a beat on the top and bottom lines and raised its outlook, saying the business was getting stronger particularly in areas where the Covid recovery has been the best.

"We see signs that there could be more gains to come in the final two months of the year," said Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial. "Seasonal tailwinds, improving market internals, and clear signs of a peak in the delta variant all provide potential fuel for equities heading into year-end, and we maintain our overweight equities recommendation as a result."

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