Is the bull run showing signs of slowing down?
Markets turned negative Wednesday afternoon with the Nasdaq dipping the farthest, falling 0.4% after starting the day in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has since bounced back into positive territory, rising 0.16% and the S&P 500 is holding on to a modest 0.03% gain.
All three major indices have already set multiple record highs this year, continuing a trend that was apparent throughout all of 2017. Bullish investors didn't even let a government shutdown get in their way.
But the start of earnings season has already come with several unexpected surprises, which has dented upbeat market sentiment.
Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN - Get Report) , for example, is probably responsible for a lot of the Nasdaq's struggles today. The Dallas-based chipmaker is down nearly 9% Wednesday after the company didn't beat Wall Street's bottom-line expectations for the first time in at least two years.
It's not that the company had a bad quarter -- it matched bottom-line expectations and beat on the top-line -- but slowing revenue growth was enough to send investors running for the hills Wednesday.
Meanwhile, blue chip stalwart General Electric Co.'s (GE - Get Report) troubles have been well documented as the stock has followed up a disappointing 2017 with a 3% decline to start 2018. But after rising 4% during Tuesday's session and looking like it may be able to turn the corner, the stock is down 3% Wednesday afternoon following a rough earnings call. Notably, the Action Alerts Plus holding revealed a new SEC investigation.
Airline United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL - Get Report) is also feeling the wrath of investors following its earnings call Tuesday, where it said that it plans to increase capacity between 4% and 6% in each of the next three years. That move could lead to a pricing war that will hurt the bottom lines of everyone involved.
United shares are down 11% today after starting the session up 7% over the past 12 months.
Today may just be a blip or small hiccup, but the reality remains that any bull market is only a couple of weak sessions away from quickly turning into correction territory.
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