The S&P 500 and the Dow gave up early gains on Tuesday, but were still within shouting distance of their record highs, as investors assessed weak earnings reports by IBM and Netflix.
A rebound in oil and better-than-expected earnings from Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson had pushed the S&P briefly over 2,100, within 30 points of its record high.
The Nasdaq composite was weighed by a 25 percent slide in Illumina. The diagnostic test maker's shares were trading at $133.81 after the company's preliminary results fell short of expectations.
"Companies have been coming in more or less in line with what we thought they would do and it's also adding to our thesis that it's another year of slow growth," said Kim Forrest, research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
While U.S. corporate earnings are seen as a swing factor for the stock market, expectations are bleak. First-quarter earnings at S&P 500 companies are expected to fall 7.6 percent on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Crude rose more than 2 percent after a strike by oil workers in Kuwait dented the OPEC country's output.
At 12:33 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 2.94 points, or 0.02 percent, at 18,007.1, the S&P 500 was down 0.58 points, or 0.03 percent, at 2,093.76 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 37.99 points, or 0.77 percent, at 4,922.03.
Six of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.38 percent rise in the materials sector. Energy was up 1.30 percent.
Johnson & Johnson rose 1.8 percent to $112.88 after it reported a marginal growth in quarterly sales. The stock was the biggest positive influence on the S&P 500 and the Dow.
Goldman Sachs shares were up 1.5 percent at $161.38 after the bank reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.
Other bank stocks also rose. Bank of America, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo were all up about 1.5 percent.
IBM fell 6.2 percent to $143.10 after it reported its worst quarterly revenue in 14 years, and was the biggest drag on the Dow and S&P 500.
Netflix shares were down 10 percent at $97.52 after the video streaming service's subscriber forecast missed estimates.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,854 to 1,076. On the Nasdaq, 1,375 issues rose and 1,350 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 43 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 55 new highs and 17 lows.
(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
First Published On : Apr 19, 2016 23:30 IST