Nasdaq 100 futures fell more than 1 percent in after-hours trade as shares of Apple fell sharply on disappointing earnings.
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U.S. stocks closed mixed Tuesday, with energy leading as oil climbed, ahead of major central bank meetings and earnings.
The Nasdaq composite closed mildly lower for its first four-day losing streak since Jan 11. (Tweet This)
Health care and information technology were the two greatest decliners in the S&P 500. Tech closed about 0.4 percent lower on the day to join health care and financials as the only sectors negative year-to-date.
"Definitely a tug of war at present levels between the bulls and the bears. I (mostly) try to rely on the closing prices and what is the market doing into the close," said John Caruso, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
"As long as we hold 2,050 I think the path of least resistance is to the upside," he said.
The S&P 500 closed up around 2,091, about 2 percent below its 52-week intraday high, with energy rising 1.4 percent to lead advancers.
"Today the standout sector is energy. People are beginning to look back to single stocks in this very beaten-up space," said Brian Fenske, head of sales trading at ITG. "With crude prices stabilizing, people are reviewing equity stories and individual companies."
U.S. crude oil futures settled up $1.40, or 3.3 percent, at $44.04 a barrel.
The Dow Jones industrial average squeezed out a 13 point gain but ended below the psychologically key 18,000 level. 3M and Procter & Gamble contributed the most to declines, while Boeing and DuPont were the greatest contributors to gains.
The major averages traded in a narrow range for much of the day before ending little changed.
"It's waiting to see what the central banks have to say and earnings otherwise," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group.
While earnings have mostly beat lowered expectations, "it's the realization that earnings continue to be challenged and economic growth continues to be challenged," he said.
3M reported earnings that beat on both the top and bottom line, helped by increased profit margins. However, net sales fell 2.2 percent from the same period last year. The firm maintained its guidance for the year. Shares closed 1.3 percent lower, holding gains of more than 10 percent for the year so far.
DuPont late Monday reported earnings that topped expectations and raised its forecast for 2016, citing a weakening of the dollar against "most currencies," Reuters said. The firm said Tuesday it expected the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to complete the review of DuPont's proposed merger with Dow Chemical by the end of June. The stock gained 2.4 percent, swinging into positive territory for 2016.
Procter & Gamble reported better-than-expected earnings but revenue that missed, falling for a seventh-straight quarter, according to Reuters. The firm now estimates a decline of 3 to 6 percent in earnings per share for the fiscal year, versus a fall of 3 to 8 percent previously. Shares of the firm closed nearly 2.3 percent lower, clinging to gains of 0.18 percent for the year so far.
Standard & Poor's on Tuesday lowered Exxon Mobil's credit rating to AA+ from AAA, saying low oil prices would make it difficult for the company to keep funding high dividends and share purchases for the next few years. Shares of Exxon closed 0.3 percent higher and are up more than 12 percent year-to-date.
The Federal Open Market Committee kicked off its two-day meeting Tuesday and is scheduled to release its statement on monetary policy Wednesday afternoon. No move on rates is expected, but investors will parse the statement for clues on the timing of the next hike.
The Bank of Japan is due to release its statement on monetary policy Thursday.
In economic news, durable goods orders rose a less-than-expected 0.8 percent in March after a downwardly revised 3.1 percent decline in February.
Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, were unchanged after a downwardly revised 2.7 percent decline in the prior month. These so-called core capital goods orders were previously reported to have decreased 2.5 percent in February, Reuters said.
Shipments of core capital goods — used to calculate equipment spending in the gross domestic product report — rose 0.3 percent after slumping 1.8 percent in February, Reuters said.
The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite's year-over-year gain was 5.4 percent in February, down from 5.7 percent the prior month.
The flash Markit services PMI rose to 52.1 in April from 51.3 last month. Consumer confidence for April was 94.2.
Treasury yields held mostly higher. The was near 0.87 percent and the 10-year yield was around 1.94 percent, with both yields hitting fresh highs going back to late March.
"We're seeing a little bit of a disconnect between the odds of a Fed rate rise and the moves in Treasury yields. That to me speaks to concerns about inflation," said Bryce Doty, senior fixed income manager with Sit Investment Associates. He attributed some of the rise in yields to WTI's climb above $44 a barrel.
The Treasury auctioned $34 billion in five-year notes at a high yield of 1.410 percent. The bid-to-cover ratio, an indicator of demand, was below average at 2.41.
The U.S. dollar index pared losses to trade about 0.26 percent lower, with the euro near $1.129 and the yen near 111.4 yen against the greenback.
European stocks closed mixed, with bank stocks outperforming.
Asian stocks closed mostly higher, with the Shanghai composite up about 0.6 percent. The Nikkei 225 closed about half a percent lower.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 13.08 points, or 0.07 percent, at 17,990.32, with DuPont leading advancers and Procter & Gamble the greatest laggard.
The closed up 3.91 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,091.70, with energy leading six sectors higher and health care the greatest decliner.
The Nasdaq composite closed down 7.48 points, or 0.15 percent, at 4,888.31.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, held near 14.
About three stocks advanced for every decliner on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 901 million and a composite volume of nearly 3.5 billion.
Gold futures for June delivery settled up $3.20 at $1,243.40 an ounce.
—Reuters contributed to this report.
On tap this week:
Federal Open Market Committee begins two-day meeting.
Earnings: Apple, AT&T, eBay, Aflac, Akamai, Ashland, Capital One, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Edwards Lifesciences, Twitter, Buffalo Wild Wings, Cree, Panera Bread, U.S. Steel
Earnings: Boeing, Comcast, GlaxoSmithKline, Mondelez Intl., Total, United Tech., Dr. Pepper Snapple, Facebook, Paypal, Ameriprise, Marriott, SanDisk (being bought by WDC), Texas Instruments, Cheesecake Factory
8:30 a.m. International trade
10 a.m. Pending home sales
2 p.m. FOMC statement
Earnings: AbbVie, Altria, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Colgate-Palmolive, ConocoPhillips, Deutsche Bank, Dow Chemical, Ford, Honda Motor, MasterCard, UPS, Volkswagen, Aetna, CME Group, Domino's Pizza, Marathon Petroleum, Sirius XM Radio, Sony, Time Warner Cable, Viacom, Waste Management, Beazer Homes, Cliffs Natural Resources, Dunkin Brands, Amazon.com, Amgen, Baidu, Gilead Sciences, Samsung Electronics, Eastman Chemical, Expedia, Hartford Fincl., Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Western Digital, Groupon, LPL Financial, Outerwall, Pandora Media
8:30 a.m. Jobless claims
8:30 .m. Real GDP Q1
10 a.m. Housing vacancies
1 p.m. $28 billion seven-year note auction
Earnings: AstraZeneca, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi
6:30 a.m. Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan
8:30 a.m. Personal income; employment cost index
9:45 a.m. Chicago PMI
10 a.m. Consumer sentiment
*Planner subject to change.
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