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Stocks fall as rally wanes, earnings pour in

US stocks wilted Tuesday morning after back-to-back days of gains as investors evaluated another round of quarterly financial results from companies.

Stocks resumed regular trading after dozens of names on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) were halted for volatility shortly after markets opened.

“The exchange is investigating reported issues with the auction opening,” a spokesperson for the NYSE told Yahoo Finance. “All NYSE systems are currently operational.”

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) each barreled down roughly 0.5% at the open, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) was off by 0.4%.

Major stocks briefly affected by the apparent technical issue at the NYSE included Morgan Stanley (MS), AT&T (T), McDonalds (MCD), and Walmart (WMT). As of 9:50 a.m. ET, the New York Stock Exchange said all systems were “operational.”

Among specific names in focus early Tuesday, shares of Verizon (VZ) edged higher after the company reported what the company deemed its best subscribed growth in seven years for the last three months of 2022 while forecasting annual profit below analyst estimates.

General Electric’s (GE) stock fell 1.4% after reporting a fourth-quarter profit that was weighed down by its renewable energy business, even as the industrials company delivered an upbeat profit forecast, citing strong demand for its jet engines and power equipment.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) shares pared an earlier advanced after the healthcare giant reported full-year guidance above expectations despite the company’s chief executive officer warning earlier this year that the macroeconomic outlook is uncertain.

Shares of 3M Company (MMM) tumbled 6% after the manufacturing conglomerate reported a lower profit over an inflation-related drop in demand for items including air purifiers and respirators, while announcing it would cut 2,500 jobs.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) is scheduled to report its results after the closing bell.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during opening bell in New York City on January 18, 2023. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

In other pockets of the market, the US dollar steadied after falling to the lowest in nine months across recent days, while in commodities, oil futures increased higher. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil — the US benchmark — traded near $82 per barrel.

The earnings season has been off to a milder start. The fourth-quarter net profit margin for the S&P 500 so far is 11.4%, below the previous quarter’s net profit margin of 11.9% and below the year-ago net profit margin of 12.4%, according to FactSet data. Moreover, consensus earnings estimates for 2023 have steadily trended lower.

On the economic front, Thursday’s gross domestic product (GDP) reading is the highlight of the week. However, investors remain squarely focused on the Federal Reserve’s next rate announcement at the start of February, with officials expected to downshift to a smaller hike.

The CME FedWatch Tool, which serves as a barometer for imminent Fed rate and US monetary policy, shows markets were pricing in a 99.1% chance of a 25-basis point hike as of Tuesday morning.

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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