US stocks fall as traders eye earnings, Covid-19 relief package

Wall Street’s major indexes dropped on Tuesday, as investors digested a slew of disappointing earnings reports and eyed the debate over a US Covid-19 relief package.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 205.49 points, or 0.77 per cent, to close at 26,379.28. The S&P 500 was down 20.97 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 3,218.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 134.18 points, or 1.27 per cent, to 10,402.09, Xinhua reported.

Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors finished lower, with materials down 2.18 per cent, leading the laggards. Real estate rose 2.05 per cent, outperforming the others.

US-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower, with eight of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

On the earnings front, 3M shares slid 4.85 per cent on its lower-than-expected revenue and profit for the second quarter.

US fast-food giant McDonald’s also reported second-quarter earnings that missed expectations. The stock closed down 2.49 per cent.

Meanwhile, investors remained cautious as US lawmakers haven’t settled their differences over the size and scope of the next Covid-19 relief bill.

Senate Republicans released their $1-trillion Covid-19 relief proposal on Monday afternoon, which includes a reduction in federal unemployment benefits, another round of $1,200 direct payments to individuals, and liability protection for businesses and schools.

Wall Street awaited a key announcement from the Federal Reserve.

The US central bank kicked off its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, followed by an interest rate decision on Wednesday.