The Dow fell 109 points as shares of 3M dropped 13.2% after the company reported earnings that were much lower than analysts had expected. The company also slashed its full-year outlook and announced plans to cut 2,000 jobs worldwide. 3M shares were on pace for their worst day since Oct. 19, 1987, also known as Black Monday.
CEO Mike Roman said the quarter was “disappointing,” noting: “We continued to face slowing conditions in key end markets which impacted both organic growth and margins, and our operational execution also fell short of the expectations we have for ourselves.”
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fared better than the Dow, however, as Facebook and Microsoft jumped on strong quarterly numbers.
The S&P 500 climbed 0.1%, led by gains in the health care and communications services sectors. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, rose 0.3% and hit an intraday record.
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“We believe investors will continue to gain comfort with the incremental financial risk created by content and privacy concerns,” Guggenheim Partners analyst Michael Morris wrote in a note. “The company is proactively and definitively addressing these issues while expanding core monetization and new initiatives.”
The analyst also raised his price target on Facebook to $220 per share from $200.
Microsoft, meanwhile, climbed more than 3% as its better-than-expected earnings were driven by a 41% surge in its commercial cloud revenue business. That growth was led by Azure, which saw sales skyrocket by 73%.
Amazon, Ford Motor, Starbucks and Mattel are among the companies scheduled to report after the bell Thursday.
More than 170 S&P 500 companies have reported quarterly results so far, according to FactSet. Of those companies, 78% have posted better-than-expected earnings. “The company is proactively and definitively addressing these issues while expanding core monetization and new initiatives.
“With the earnings season approaching the halfway mark, the news has been good enough to keep bulls committed to their positions and there have been few examples of genuinely troubling news,” said Michael Shaoul, chairman and CEO of Marketfield Asset Management, in a note.
“The worst we could say is that investors are drawing in some cases on hope to a greater degree than normal, particularly in the key semiconductor sector where a strong second half rebound has been priced into many issuers, but this seems unlikely to be a factor over the near term,” Shaoul added.
Wall Street ended Wednesday’s session lower on the back of mixed corporate results. Earlier this week, the S&P 500 notched an all-time closing high and remains about half a percent below its intraday record.
—CNBC’s Silvia Amaro contributed to this report.