U.S. stocks extended losses on Tuesday, as investors eyed Apple earnings and the beginning of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting, amid international news.
Oil futures rose on Tuesday on a report of the seizure of a U.S. vessel.
Saudi-owned pan-Arab television station Al Arabiya reported a U.S. cargo ship was taken to Bandar Abbas on the southern cost of Iran. The report could not be independently verified. Shots were fired at the ship before it was steered to the Bandar Abbas port, the Arab television station said on its twitter feed.
A U.S. official told Reuters that there are no indications of any U.S. ship being directed into an Iranian port.
“Some weird inputs here,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. He noted a slightly disappointing consumer confidence figure, an Apple downgrade, and the Iranian news. “It’s a confluence of all three things hitting at the same time.”
The Dow Jones industrial average traded about 30 points lower after briefly falling more than 100 points as the Iran headlines came out. The other major indices traded mildly lower, with the Nasdaq underperforming.
“I would say many years ago Iran news would have … shaken (the market),” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. “It doesn’t appear to have as much impact as I would have thought.”
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The Fed meeting gets underway Tuesday, with the conclusion and post-meeting statement due Wednesday. A wave of disappointing domestic data since the previous FOMC meeting has spurred economists to downgrade their outlooks for the U.S. economy in 2015. Investors will be eyeing any comments from the Fed for hints as to when it might hike interest rates.
To be sure, with no press conference on Wednesday, analysts do not expect major news out of the U.S. central bank this week.
Read More US markets waver ahead of Fed meeting
Apple shares held more than 1 percent lower. Earlier, the stock briefly gained to touch a new all-time high above $133.60 a share as the tech giant carried over its acquired momentum from Monday’s earnings report. The company reported quarterly earnings per share of $2.33 on revenue of $56.08 billion, both above consensus estimates. Apple also said it would expand its capital return program to $200 billion from $130 billion.
Apple closed up 1.8 percent on Monday ahead of its earnings report. However, a major decline across biotechs weighed on the major indices, which failed to hold Friday’s records and closed lower on Monday.
Merck surged more than 5 percent, on track for its best day since January 2014, to lead gains in the Dow. The firm beat Wall Street’s estimates after posting adjusted quarterly profits of 85 cent per share on revenue of $9.4 billion, sending the stock up more than 4.5 percent in premarket trading. Analysts expected the company to report earnings per share of 75 cents on revenue of $9.1 billion.
The euro strengthened to above $1.09, with hopes of progress on the Greece debt talks, Boockvar said. However, the stronger currency put pressure on European stocks.
Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, said on Monday that he may resort to a referendum if lenders insist on demands that the government deems unacceptable, Reuters reported. But he added that he was confident of striking a deal to avoid such a scenario.
The Conference Board consumer confidence survey results for April was 95.2, below expectations of a rise.
The S&P/Case-Shiller’s 20-City Composite gained 5 percent year-over-year in February, compared with a 4.5 percent increase in January.
“This is certainly good news at a time (when) we need good news,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
He noted while traders will watch Apple, they have a slew of other earnings to watch.
BP shares edged higher in London trading after it managed to beat its own profit expectations in a first-quarter release before the opening bell
Pfizer‘s stock traded slightly lower ahead of the bell after lowering its 2015 guidance for earnings per share and revenue. The pharmaceutical giant also reported quarterly adjusted profits of 51 cent per share on revenue of $10.86 billion, both of which beat Wall Street estimates.
The S&P 500 traded down 0.95 points, or 0.05 percent, at 2,107, with telecommunications the greatest of four advancing sectors and utilities leading decliners.
The Nasdaq traded down 6 points, or 0.13 percent, at 5,052.
Decliners were a touch ahead of advancers on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 91 million and a composite volume of 323 million in early trade.
The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.95 percent.
Crude futures gained 21 cents to $57.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures fell $1.80 to $1,201.40 an ounce as of 9:51 a.m.
—CNBC’s Tom DiChristopher, Jenny Cosgrave and Fred Imbert contributed to this report
On tap this week:
Fed meeting starts
Earnings: Samsung Electronics, Aflac, Akamai, GoPro, Kraft Foods, Range Resources, Twitter, Western Digital, Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera Bread, U.S. Steel
1 p.m.: $35 billion 5-year notes
Earnings: Deutsche Bank, Fiat Chrysler, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Hess, Starwood, Brunswick, Carlyle Group, Spirit Airlines, Norfolk Southern, Southern Co, Time Warner, Garmin, GrubHub, International Paper, Thomson Reuters, MasterCard, Marriott, Whiting Petroleum, Williams Cos, Boston Beer, Cabot, Murphy Oil, Baidu, Vertex, Yelp, Shutterfly, LaQuinta, Goodyear
8:30 a.m.: Q1 GDP, pending home sales
1:00 p.m.: $29 billion 7-year notes
2:00 p.m.: FOMC statement
Earnings: ExxonMobil, ConocoPhllips, Royal Dutch Shell, Sanofi, Statoil, BNP Paribas, Visa, AIG, LinkedIn, Colgate-Palmolive, Celgene, Delphi Automotive, Air Products, Cigna, Cardinal Health, Sony, Time Warner Cable, Teva Pharma, Viacom, Beazer Homes, First Solar, FireEye, Dreamworks Animation, Healthsouth
8:30 a.m.: Initial claims, personal income/spending, employment cost index, Fed Gov. Daniel Tarullo
9:45 a.m.: Chicago PMI
Earnings: Chevron, CVS Health, Aon, Calpine, Clorox, Moody’s, Newell Rubbermaid, Duke Energy, Weyerhaeuser, TransCanada, VF Corp, Madison Square Garden, Legg Mason, CBOE
8:30 a.m.: Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester
9:45 a.m.: Manufacturing PMI
10 a.m.: ISM manufacturing, construction spending, consumer sentiment
3:45 p.m.: San Francisco Fed President John Williams