Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down Thursday as investors retreated from disappointing earnings reports.
  • 3M (MMM - Get Report) climbed after posting stronger-than-expected second quarter and affirming its full-year profit guidance.
  • Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) shares tumbled after the company reported a much-wider-than-expected second-quarter loss and said it chief technology officer is leaving. Tesla is Real Money's Stock of the Day.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks finished down on Thursday, one day after the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 closed at record highs, as investors reacted to d isappointing earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 128 points, or 0.47%, to 27,140. The S&P 500 slipped 0.53% to 3003, and the Nasdaq tumbled 1% to 8,238. 

Boeing (BA - Get Report) was leading the Dow's retreat, falling 3.6% to $348.26 after the troubled aerospace giant said it would no longer bid for an Air Force contract to build a replacement for the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile program.

Intel (INTC - Get Report) , which reports earnings after Thursday's closing bell, was the second worst performer, followed by Coca-Cola (KO - Get Report) .

The European Central Bank decided to keep rates on hold, but altered its guidance to say that it expects rates to remain "at their present or lower levels" at least through the first half of 2020, increasing expectation of a rate cut in September. 

"Stocks' weakness, despite today's ECB dovishness, calls into question how much upside equities have left even if the Fed cuts rates as expected next week," said Alec Young, managing director of global markets research at FTSE Russell. "With global leading economic indicators still weak, investors seem increasingly unwilling to keep buying without greater signs of improving fundamentals."

Dom Catrambone, CEO of Whitford Asset Management and manager of the Volshares Large-Cap ETF, said uncertainty was behind the sell-off.

"Psychologically speaking, Wall Street and investors need to know what to expect -- good or bad," he said. "Today, investors witnessed stocks from three high profile companies, Facebook (FB - Get Report) , Boeing and Ford (F - Get Report) , sharply decline following missed earnings from Boeing and Ford and lowered revenue projections for Facebook. Unfortunately, these events are the hard realities associated with earnings season."

Catrambone added that "these earnings and downgraded revenue projections are paired with the everlasting saga of the Fed's decision to cut interest rates or not."

"The decision is now in the spotlight even more as the European Central Bank signaled it is preparing to cut short-term interest rates and possibly restart its giant bond-buying program in a policy shift aimed at safeguarding the Eurozone's economy," he said.

Tesla (TSLA - Get Report)  shares tumbled 13.6% to $228.82 after the clean-energy carmaker posted a much-wider-than-expected second-quarter loss and said it chief technology officer was leaving the company. Tesla is Real Money's Stock of the Day.

Shares of 3M  (MMM - Get Report)  fell nearly 1% to $178.17 after the diversified industrial company posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings Thursday, and affirmed its full-year profit guidance.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY - Get Report)  climbed 5% to $45.41 after posting stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings Thursday, and boosted its full-year profit forecasts.

Comcast  (CMCSA - Get Report)  shares fell slightly to $44.61 after reporting stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings Thursday, but noted falling revenues in both its NBCUniversal division and Sky television businesses.

Shares of Facebook fell 1.9% to $200.71 after the social media giant posted second-quarter earnings that topped analysts' forecasts.

Ford shares were falling 7.8% to $9.52 after the car company suffered the fallout from weak second-quarter results and guidance.

In economic news, durable-goods orders rose 2% last month, beating economists' expectations of 0.7%. Orders rose 1.2% if cars and planes are excluded. May's 1.3% decline in orders was revised to 2.3%.

Initial jobless claims decreased by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 206,000 in the week ended July 20, the Labor Department said. Economists had expected 220,000 new claims.

Comcast, Cisco, and Facebook are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells these stocks? Learn more now.

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