Stocks finished mixed Tuesday as Wall Street awaited quarterly earnings from giants in the tech sector.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished marginally higher, up 3 points, or 0.01%, to 33,984. The S&P 500 ticked down 0.02% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.34%.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq had closed at records on Monday as solid corporate earnings boosted the belief the U.S. economy was on a path to recovery.
Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report dropped 4.5% on Tuesday after the electric-vehicle company posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings, thanks in part to surging deliveries in China. Tesla notched its seventh consecutive quarterly profit. Net income on a GAAP basis reached a quarterly record $438 million.
General Electric (GE) - Get General Electric Company Report reported first-quarter earnings that topped analysts' estimates and the industrial group reiterated its full-year profit forecast. The stock finished down 0.2% on Tuesday.
After Tuesday's closing bell earnings reports are expected from Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Report, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) - Get Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Report, Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report, Texas Instruments (TXN) - Get Texas Instruments Incorporated Report, Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report and Pinterest (PINS) - Get Pinterest Inc. Class A Report.
According to FactSet, a quarter of the companies in the S&P 500 have so far reported first-quarter results, and 84% of them have topped analysts' expectations. That is above the 77% one-year average and a record, FactSet said, since it started tracking the data in 2008.
TheStreet's founder, Jim Cramer, said in a tweet that the next 72 hours were the "most important" of the year.
The Federal Reserve begins a two-day meeting Tuesday. Investors don't expect the central bank to make any policy changes and to leave asset purchases unchanged.\
But Wall Street will be paying close attention to indications of when the Fed might begin to trim its $120 billion in monthly asset purchases and its outlook on inflation.
Danielle DiMartino Booth, chief executive and chief strategist of Quill Intelligence, said the Fed's expected announcement on Wednesday afternoon would be "arguably the most important statement so far this year, as investors are increasingly trying to figure out when the Fed may start to pare back its COVID-19-related stimulus, since the economy is recovering at a faster-than-expected rate."
U.S. consumer confidence in April rose to 121.7, the highest level since February 2020, according to the Conference Board.