By Paul J. Davies
-- Dow industrials drop less than 0.1%, S&P 500 falls 0.1%
-- Goldman shares rise on dividend boost
-- JPMorgan and Wells Fargo slide
U.S. stocks fell slightly Tuesday after a set of mixed second-quarter earnings reports from three major banks and other companies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22 points, or less than 0.1%, to 27336 shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 dropped 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite also declined 0.1%.
Goldman Sachs reported a decline in second-quarter earnings versus a year earlier, but lifted its dividend to $1.25, which helped its stock rise by 1.4%. JPMorgan Chase posted revenue in line with expectations for the second quarter and its shares fell 0.2%. Wells Fargo slipped less than 0.1% after its own quarterly report.
Johnson & Johnson reported earnings per share up 43% versus the same period last year and increased its guidance for operational sales. Its shares dropped 1.4%.
The British pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar in two years after a debate between the U.K.'s leadership candidates appeared to raise fears of an abrupt Brexit.
Sterling dropped 0.6% against the dollar to $1.24, its lowest since April 2017. It fell 0.3% versus the euro to EUR1.11 after Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, the two candidates vying to take over from departing Theresa May, both said Monday evening they wouldn't accept the so-called Irish backstop previously agreed with the European Union as part of the long negotiations over Brexit.
Their stance was likely to set up a clash with European leaders and may make for an abrupt exit without any agreement on Britain's future relationship with the bloc.
"This story confirms both candidates have set themselves a self-defeating high bar for talks with the EU," said Jordan Rochester, global FX strategist at Nomura in London.
Burberry Group PLC was among the biggest risers in European markets Tuesday, after the British luxury fashion brand said this year's collection delivered strong double-digit percentage growth, in line with its expectations.
European equities were mostly flat with little news to give the market direction. In China, stocks in Shenzhen were fractionally lower, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged up 0.2%.
Government-bond yields rose, with U.S. 10-year Treasury yields at 2.127%, from 2.093% Monday.
In commodities, Brent crude oil was up 0.1% at $66.59 a barrel and gold fell 0.2% to $1,410 an ounce.
Write to Paul J. Davies at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 16, 2019 09:50 ET (13:50 GMT)Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.