New York: US stocks finished Tuesday's session with modest losses, driven by a slew of mixed earnings reports and downbeat economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 19.30 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 27,071.42. The S&P 500 fell 2.53 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 3,036.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 49.13 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 8,276.85, Xinhua reported.
Seven of the S&P 500 sectors closed higher, with health care up 1.16 per cent, outpacing the rest. Communication services and technology slid 0.95 per cent and 0.92 per cent, respectively, leading the decliners.
Google-parent Alphabet reported weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings late Monday. The shares traded on a downbeat note throughout Tuesday's session, with the Class A and Class C down 2.20 per cent and 2.12 per cent, respectively, at the close.
Merck shares soared 3.53 per cent after the US pharmaceutical giant delivered solid earnings. Pfizer, another pharmaceutical titan, also posted a larger-than-anticipated profit, sending the stock up about 2.5 per cent.
On the economic front, US consumer confidence index stood at 125.9 in October, down from 126.3 in September, the Conference Board reported on Tuesday. The reading fell short of market forecasts.
Wall Street is also awaiting a key monetary policy announcement from the US Federal Reserve, which is scheduled to be made on Wednesday afternoon. Market expectations for further rate cuts are high amid a slowing economy.
The minutes of the Fed's September monetary policy meeting showed that there was a growing concern about trade tensions among Fed officials. The central bank also highlighted the impact of trade tensions on the outlook for the US economy.