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Stock Market Today: Dow Slips Lower With Earnings, Inflation In Focus; IMF Cuts Growth Forecast

U.S. stocks slipped lower into the start of the Tuesday trading session as investors await the start of the third quarter earnings season and key inflation figures later this week.

U.S. stocks nudged lower Tuesday, while global markets maintained a cautious tone heading into the third quarter earnings season with a focus on surging energy prices, faster inflation and their combined effect on growth prospects in the world's biggest economies.

The International Monetary Fund, in fact, cut its global growth forecast by 10 basis points, to 5.9%, in what it called a "modest headline revision that  masks large downgrades for some countries" but also "reflects more difficult near-term prospects for the advanced economy group, in part due to supply disruptions."

Investors were also unsettled by news that indebted China property giant Evergrande had missed a third series coupon payment in as many weeks, reigniting concerns that its collapse could trigger contagion in regional bond markets.

Beyond that, however, many of the same issues continue to challenge markets this week, with oil prices trading near seven-year highs amid a global power crunch, benchmark 10-year note yields holding at four-month highs ahead of a $38 billion auction later this morning and earnings from JPMorgan  (JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Report, Citigroup  (C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report and Goldman Sachs  (GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) Report kicking-off the start of the third quarter earnings season on Wednesday.

Collective S&P 500 profits are expected to rise 29.6% from last year to around $413.8 billion, according to forecasts from Refinitiv,. The energy sector is expected to lead gains over Q3, with profits rising by nearly 1500% from last year to around $20.5 billion.

September CPI data also looms large on Wednesday as the market's preferred inflation gauge, the so-called 5-year/5-year breakeven rate, is trading at the highest levels since June and Federal Reserve rate hike bets for September 2022 continue to accelerate. 

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On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 5 points by late-morning trading, with the broader S&P 500 down 4 points. The Nasdaq Composite, however, slipped 20 points as benchmark 10-year note yields held at 1.605% in early New York trading ahead of today's debt auction results at 1:30 pm Eastern time.

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report shares were a notable early mover, rising 2.1% to a seven-month higher after after the carmaker defied a sharp slowdown in China to record its best-ever September sales tally from the world's biggest car market.

Nike  (NKE) - Get NIKE, Inc. (NKE) Report, too, was on the move after analysts at Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of the sportswear giant with a 'buy' rating and a $172 price target.

MGM Resorts International  (MGM) - Get MGM Resorts International (MGM) Report shares jumped 7.5% higher after analysts at Credit Suisse boosted their rating on the gaming group and its U.K.-based partner posted stronger-than-expected third quarter revenues. 

Oil prices eased from their recent seven-year peaks, but remain firmly elevated heading into today's API stock release data and the broader Energy Department assessment on Wednesday. 

WTI futures for November delivery were marked 32 cents higher at $81.06 per barrel while Brent contracts for December, the global pricing benchmark, were up 33 cents at $83.98 per barrel.

In overseas markets, Europe's Stoxx 600 slipped 0.1% lower after a key reading of German investor sentiment fell for the fifth consecutive month in September amid concerns over the impact of bottlenecked global supply chains and surging energy prices.

In Asia, the region-wide MSCI ex-Japan index fell 0.88% while Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.94% lower on the session at 28,230.61 points.