The US markets eked out modest gains on Wednesday after traders digested the latest batch of earnings news from big-name companies like Boeing (BA) and Caterpillar (CAT). Boeing and Caterpillar both reported weaker than expected third quarter earnings, with Caterpillar also cutting its full-year outlook due to weak demand for construction and mining equipment. Disappointing guidance from Texas Instruments (TXN) weighed on markets, as the chipmaker cited the impact of ongoing uncertainty about trade. Thus far, of the 98 companies that have reported third-quarter results in the S&P 500, 82.7% have delivered results above street expectations, while 12.2% reported below street expectations.
Besides, overall trading activity was somewhat subdued, with a lack of major US economic data keeping some traders on the sidelines. Traders were looking ahead to the release of reports on durable goods orders, new home sales, and weekly jobless claims. A lack of major developments on the Brexit and US-China trade deal fronts also kept traders reluctant to make more significant moves.
Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 45.85 points or 0.17 percent to 26833.95, Nasdaq added 15.50 points or 0.19 percent to 8119.79 and S&P 500 was up by 8.53 points or 0.28 percent to 3004.52.