U.S. stocks were slightly lower on Wednesday, dragged down by Walt Disney’s disappointing results, while investors turned cautious after President Donald Trump fired his FBI chief.
Disney (DIS.N) fell 2.5 percent and was the top drag on the Dow and the S&P 500 after the media company reported quarterly revenue below analysts’ expectations.
Trump said he fired FBI Director James Comey, who had been leading an investigation into his 2016 presidential campaign’s possible collusion with Russia, over his handling of an email scandal involving then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Analysts say the development could distract Trump from pursuing his promises, including the highly anticipated reform of the U.S. tax code.
“I think the biggest issue is what this does to the Trump agenda on taxes,” Matthew Peterson, chief wealth strategist for LPL Financial wrote in a note.
“The market really is expecting a cut. We still feel it’s a matter of when, not if a cut happens. But any thought this gets pushed to ’18 is a market negative.”
Demand for safe-haven assets like gold, bonds and the Japanese yen rose, while the dollar fell.
Wall Street closed slightly lower on Tuesday after the S&P hit a record intraday high for the second straight day and the VIX fell to a decade low.
“The domestic political storm is a perfect excuse for the indices to take a badly needed rest,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial wrote.
At 9:40 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 52.07 points, or 0.25 percent, at 20,923.71, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 2.54 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,394.38 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 5.90 points, or 0.1 percent, at 6,114.69.
Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with consumer discretionary .SPLRCD dropping 0.6 percent due to Disney and Priceline.
Shares of Priceline (PCLN.O) tumbled 5 percent to $1,815 after the travel website operator issued a current quarter earnings estimate that missed analysts’ expectations.
Nvidia (NVDA.O) surged nearly 14 percent after the chipmaker reported a better-than-expected jump in quarterly revenue. Shares of rival AMD (AMD.O) also rose.
Allergan (AGN.N) was off 2 percent at $233.72 after the drugmaker recorded a quarterly loss.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,322 to 1,225. On the Nasdaq, 1,299 issues fell and 977 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 13 52-week highs and one low, while the Nasdaq recorded 56 highs and 23 lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)