Wall Street treads water as chip stocks, Nike fall

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The benchmark S&P 500 was little changed on Wednesday as lackluster quarterly reports from Texas Instruments Inc (TXN.O) pushed down semiconductor stocks and the departure of Nike Inc’s (NKE.N) chief executive weighed on the company’s shares.

A trader works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 22, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Texas Instruments shares tumbled 7.6% after the chipmaker projected fourth-quarter revenue below estimates, citing weakened demand in part from trade tensions. Texas Instruments was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

Shares of other semiconductor companies, including Intel Corp (INTC.O) and Broadcom Inc (AVGO.O), fell as well. The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index dropped 2.2%.

A 3.1% decline in Nike shares weighed down the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The footwear company announced after the bell on Tuesday that Mark Parker, its long-time chief executive officer, would step down next year. Nike tapped John Donahoe, chief executive of ServiceNow Inc (NOW.N), as Parker’s successor. ServiceNow shares fell 4.5%.

Losses in U.S. stocks were muted, though, despite big earnings misses from industrial bellwethers Boeing Co (BA.N) and Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N).

Boeing shares were little changed after the aerospace company reported a 53% drop in quarterly profit. The company, however, reaffirmed the timeline for its grounded 737 MAX’s return to service.

Caterpillar shares rose 1.3% despite the heavy machinery maker reporting earnings well short of Wall Street estimates and cutting its full-year profit outlook. Weakened demand in China dragged down the company’s sales in Asia. But the company also said tariffs stemming from the U.S.-China trade war would have a smaller impact on its business than previously forecast.

“That’s a stock that has had a lot of issues with trade, but at the same time, it has been able to hang in there,” said Mark Kepner, equity trader at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey, of Caterpillar. “That’s pretty good for the market.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 26.76 points, or 0.1%, to 26,761.34, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.2 points, or 0.01%, to 2,996.19 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 7.73 points, or 0.1%, to 8,096.57.

Advances in Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O) shares helped cap losses.

Apple shares rose 1.0% after Morgan Stanley said the iPhone maker’s soon-to-be-launched video streaming service, Apple TV+, could boost its services revenue.

Facebook shares advanced 1.7% after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg sought to reassure U.S. lawmakers about the company’s planned digital currency, Libra.

The S&P 500 healthcare index .SPXHC climbed 0.5% after health insurer Anthem Inc (ANTM.N) and medical device makers Boston Scientific Corp (BSX.N) and Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO.N) reported strong results.

However, Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) shares fell 2.5% after the drugmaker missed third-quarter revenue estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.42-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.01-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 15 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 49 new highs and 50 new lows.

Reporting by April Joyner; Additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Sriraj Kalluvila and Tom Brown

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