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Stocks Finish Lower Ahead of Big Tech Earnings, Nasdaq Down 1.2%

Stocks fall as earnings season kicks into another gear with reports from mega-cap tech companies, and China undergoes a regulatory crackdown.

Stocks finished lower Tuesday as earnings season kicked into another gear with reports from mega-cap tech companies, investors awaited the Federal Reserve's outlook for stimulus, and China underwent a regulatory crackdown.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 85 points, or 0.24%, to 35,058, the S&P 500 fell 0.47% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 1.21%.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury slipped Tuesday to 1.238% as investors awaited the Fed's policy update. The central bank's two-day meeting begins Tuesday and ends Wednesday with a statement followed by a press conference from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

"We expect Jay Powell to reiterate that the tapering discussion is underway, but that it's too soon to reveal a specific date on when the initial curtailment of asset purchases will begin," said Danielle DiMartino Booth, CEO and chief strategist of Quill Intelligence. 

Stocks finished higher Monday and the three major stock exchanges closed at record highs Monday as Wall Street readied for a big week of earnings. Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report, Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report and Alphabet  (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report, the parent company of Google, will be reporting earnings after Tuesday's closing bell.

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Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report shares fell nearly 2% Tuesday after the electric vehicle company reported second-quarter earnings that topped analysts' estimates and net income surpassed $1 billion.

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General Electric  (GE) - Get General Electric Company (GE) Report posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and boosted its forecast for industrial free cash flow as "early signs" of a recovery in its aviation business support the ongoing turnaround plans of CEO Larry Culp.

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In China, stocks were unsettled by the third consecutive session of heavy selling, where Beijing's crackdown on tech and education companies pulled the CSI 300, its version of the Nasdaq, to the lowest levels of the year amid reports of stricter conditions on large companies and those seeking listings on U.S. exchanges.

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