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Shares of large tech companies tumbled Tuesday ahead of big earnings announcements from the sector as US stocks finished a choppy session mostly lower.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index finished 0.8 percent lower at 7,028.29.
The Dow Jones Industrial climbed 0.2 percent to 24,579.96, while the broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.2 percent to 2,640.00.
The lackluster session came after the Conference Board reported the third straight month of declining consumer confidence in January.
Apple, which has warned of weak sales in China, dropped 1.0 percent ahead of its earnings release later Tuesday. Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook all lost at least two percent ahead of results later this week.
The declines suggested investors remain wary of the sector after chip company Nvidia on Monday also cited weakness in China in cutting its outlook.
Besides a heavy earnings calendar, investors are anticipating Wednesday’s Federal Reserve policy announcement.
The Fed has in recent weeks signaled a cautious approach to lifting interest rates, a key factor in the market’s rally since late December.
Markets are also looking ahead the resumption of trade talks between China and the United States.
Some analysts viewed the prospects for a Beijing-Washington agreement as dimming after the US Justice Department on Monday announced criminal charges against Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Huawei matter was unconnected to the trade negotiations, adding in a Fox Business interview he expected ‘significant’ progress in the talks.
Among companies reporting results, 3M jumped 1.9 percent as it reported that fourth-quarter profits more than doubled to $1.3 billion. Analysts said the results suggested the industrial company was successfully passing off higher material costs through price increases.
But Harley-Davidson dropped 5.0 percent after it forecast 2019 motorcycle sales of between 217,000 and 222,000 – below the 2018 count and a sign the company still faces challenges in finding new consumers.