Stocks edge lower as investors review earnings, await Fed

Stocks edged lower in morning trading on Wall Street Wednesday as investors reviewed the latest batch of quarterly earnings reports and wait for a policy update from the Federal Reserve.

Wall Street will be looking closely at the central bank’s statement to get a better sense of when it might start easing up on its support for the economy.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1% as of 9:58 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 46 points, or 0.1%, to 35,011 and the Nasdaq rose 0.4%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.25% from 1.23% late Tuesday.

A slide from a few big technology stocks and a mix of consumer-oriented companies weighed on the market and offset gains from communications companies and banks. Google’s parent company Alphabet was a standout, jumping 2.9% after reporting profit surge last quarter.

Analysts expect the Fed to taper bond purchases that have helped keep interest rates low through the pandemic. The big question for investors is the timing and pace of such a pullback. The market is also weighing concerns about the pace of the economic recovery, which could be stymied by the renewed spread of COVID-19.

There are also lingering concerns about whether inflation will continue to rise, depending on the economic recovery and supply chain problems that have made some goods more expensive.

Pfizer rose 1.7% after its profit and revenue surged on strong sales of its COVID-19 vaccine and other medicines. It also raised its sales and profit forecasts for the year. Boeing jumped 5.7% after the airplane maker reported a surprise quarterly profit, its first since 2019.

Solid earnings weren’t enough to lift stocks for other companies. McDonald’s fell 1.4%, despite reporting a surge in revenue and beating analysts’ forecasts as dining rooms reopened.

Markets made gains in Europe and were mostly lower in Asia.