Stocks finished lower Wednesday, one day after the Dow industrials and the S&P 500 closed at records, amid a busy week of corporate earnings.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 266 points, or 0.74%, to 35,490, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.51%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was flat.
The market's performance was a sharp contrast to the previous session when the Dow and the S&P 500 each posted intraday and session highs.
The strength of the third-quarter earnings season has powered stocks to a series of records.
But investors remain concerned about creeping inflation, uncertainty linked to the Democratic Party's tax proposals, and continuing disruptions in the global supply chain.
Louis Navellier, chief investment officer at Navellier & Associates, said his firm's survey this week showed that a majority of investors believe inflation will be a significant headwind for the markets by year-end.
"This is a notable difference from our survey in August where 24% of investors thought inflation was 'transitory,'" he said. "Janet Yellen’s most recent comments on the matter did a little to allay fears. Inflation may be the only thing standing in the way of a year-end rally."
Growth stocks, as well as dividend growth stocks, he added "are historically your best defense against rising inflation. Interest rates are also falling despite all the taper concerns."
New orders for manufactured goods declined 0.4% in September, according to the Census Bureau. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting a decrease of 1.1%. Orders rose by a downwardly revised 1.3% in August, and have increased in 15 of the past 17 months.
Our survey this week showed that a majority of investors believe inflation will be a significant headwind for the markets by year-end.
This is a notable difference from our survey in August where 24% of investors thought inflation was "transitory." Janet Yellen’s most recent comments on the matter did a little to allay fears. Inflation may be the only thing standing in the way of a year-end rally.
Visa (V) - Get Visa Inc. Class A Report stock tumbled nearly 7% after the payments giant issued a conservative revenue outlook with its quarterly earnings report. Visa brought in $1.62 per share, beating expectations by 8 cents. It also exceeded revenue expectations, thanks to an increase in online and travel spending
Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report surged after the tech giant posted first quarter profit of more than $20 billion, powered in part by booming demand for its cloud computing services.
Boeing (BA) - Get Boeing Company Report shares slipped after the aerospace giant posted a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss, as well as softer revenue. The Chicago aerospace giant warned that charges linked to its delayed 787 Dreamliner could reach $1 billion.
McDonald's (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation (MCD) Report shares ended higher after the burger major posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings. Higher U.S. menu prices, as well as larger order sizes, boosted sales for the world's biggest restaurant chain.