Stocks

Wall St flat as healthcare decline counters chip boost

Reuters

By Amy Caren Daniel and Sruthi Shankar

April 17 () - Wall Street's main indexes were trading flat on Wednesday, as a Qualcomm-led rally in chipmakers was offset by a slide in healthcare stocks for the second straight session, although quarterly earnings came in largely positive.

Qualcomm Inc surged 10.3% after the company won a major victory in its legal dispute with Apple Inc that called for the iPhone to once again use Qualcomm modem chips.

This helped chipmakers, which get a huge portion of their revenue from China, rally. The Philadelphia chip index jumped 1.45%.

The S&P healthcare index tumbled 2% and was on pace to wipe out its yearly gains due to ongoing concerns about potential changes to healthcare policy.

"Investors are kind of taking a step back. Q1 earnings have been fine, but there is still a decent amount of debate in the market around where do we go this year in terms of economic growth," said Mike Dowdall, a portfolio manager with BMO Global Asset Management.

"We are going to have to see earnings expectations continue to increase and an even more positive outcome from trade."

Of the 54 S&P 500 companies that have posted results so far, about 80% have beaten estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

However, analysts now expect first-quarter S&P 500 profits to drop 1.8% year-on-year. Though a solid improvement over recent estimates, it would still mark the first earnings contraction since 2016.

United Continental Holdings Inc rose 4.2% after reporting a better-than-expected jump in quarterly profit and fueled a 1.1% rise in the Dow Jones transport index .

At 11:08 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 7.04 points, or 0.03%, at 26,459.70. The S&P 500 was down 0.03 points, or 0.00%, at 2,907.03 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 7.97 points, or 0.10%, at 8,008.19.

The Nasdaq 100 touched a record intraday high, surpassing its highest level hit in early October.

Among other stocks, International Business Machines Corp fell 2.6% after reporting a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly revenue.

Morgan Stanley rose 2% after its quarterly profit beat expectations, wrapping up earnings for big U.S. banks.

PepsiCo Inc gained 3% after its quarterly results beat Wall Street estimates.

Netflix Inc shares dipped 0.1% in volatile trading. The video streaming service provider gave a weak forecast but beat quarterly estimates.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.01-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.43-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 42 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 56 new highs and 36 new lows.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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