"There's been some pressure from Corporate America to improve performance, and I think this is a reflection of that," said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors. "Also, bigger companies tend to be harder to manage and grow."
Elsewhere, Procter & Gamble shares pulled back 0.5 percent after shareholders voted against adding Trian's Nelson Peltz to its board of directors.
This round of corporate news comes as most major companies get set to release their quarterly results.
BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, is set to report third-quarter earnings and revenue Wednesday before the bell. Big banks such as Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo are scheduled to report later this week.
S&P 500 third-quarter earnings are expected to grow 4 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to S&P Capital IQ.
Dubravko Lakos-Bujas, head of U.S. equity strategy and global quant research at JPMorgan Securities, said in a note Tuesday he thinks earnings will be better than expected, noting:
"The macro backdrop remains supportive for earnings growth (y/y) with lower USD (especially favorable for Technology, Healthcare, and Industrials), a goldilocks scenario for Financials with expanding [net-interest margins] and multi-decade low credit costs, and rising commodity prices."
The first two quarters of the year saw stellar earnings growth, with first and second-quarter profits rising 15.5 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively.