U.S. stocks take a pause before earnings season

U.S. stocks take a pause before earnings season


After its six-month highs posted in recent days, Wall Street took a nosedive on Tuesday, as investors fear a slowdown in the global economy. The IMF revised downward its forecast growth Tuesday, while Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs of $11 billion on European products. Meanwhile, trade talks with China are still stalling on some issues, according to the White House, which said the US authorities are “not yet satisfied.” Finally, the Brexit dossier also weighs on the trend, on the eve of an extraordinary European summit in Brussels on a possible new postponement.

At the close, the Dow Jones index dropped 0.72% to 26,150 points, while the broad S & P 500 index fell 0.61% to 2,878 pts and the Nasdaq composite, rich in technology and biotechnology stocks, dropped 0.56% to 7.909 pts. A little earlier, the Euro Stoxx 50 finished down 0.6% and the CAC 40 yielded 0.65%, especially under the weight of(-1.86%). On Wall Street, the shares of Boeing, which dropped 10% since the crash of the B-737 MAX Ethiopian Airlines, has again lost 1.46%.

On Monday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch was the first major broker to lower (to “neutral” versus “buy”) its recommendations on Boeing, estimating that the group’s business could be disrupted for 6 to 9 months, not 3 to 6 months as previously anticipated, by the setbacks of the B-737 MAX. On Tuesday, Boeing also said it delivered 149 aircraft in the first quarter against 184 a year ago. A number lower than its competitor Airbus, which announced a few days ago that it delivered 162 aircraft over the period.

American Airlines reduced its unit revenue per passenger expectation for the first quarter, largely due to the shutdown of the Boeing 737 MAXs and the partial shutdown in January.

The markets are waiting for the kickoff of the results of US companies for the first quarter, which could temper the optimism of the markets in the coming weeks. Indeed, for the first time since the second quarter of 2016, earnings of the S & P 500 could come down compared to the same quarter of the previous year, according to financial analysts.

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I cover technology, utilities and biotechnology for Markets Morning, and I help out occasionally with other industry sectors. I've written about investment and personal finance topics for more than 20 years from a lowly copywriter to editor-in-chief, so I've done a little bit of everything. For what it's worth, I have a BA from Duke University and an MBA from Rollins College. I'm married with one daughter, and that's worth more than everything else put together.