Stock Market In Holding Pattern Ahead of Apple Earnings Report

Tech bellwether Apple will report earnings after the market closes.

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By Andrew Osterland

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With the Federal Reserve Board meeting over the next two days and tech bellwether Apple reporting earnings after the market close, the stock market was in a holding pattern today.

The Dow index, buoyed by decent earnings from 3M, traded within a narrow range, closing up 0.21 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes were down 0.15 percent and 0.81 percent respectively. The Entrepreneur Index™ fell 0.66 percent on the day.

Technology investors were waiting (not very optimistically) on Apple's earnings results. The company previously lowered guidance because of slowing iPhone sales in China. The second of the FAANG stocks to report earnings after Netflix, and the only one of the five internet giants not on the Entrepreneur Index™, Apple was down 1.04 percent.

The rest of the tech market followed suit. The other four FANG stocks all fell with Amazon, (-2.69 percent), declining most. Facebook will report earnings tomorrow. All thirteen technology stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ were down.

Chipmaker NVIDIA Corp. continued to slide, losing 4.64 percent today and posting the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ for the second consecutive day. The stock was down 14 percent yesterday after the company cut guidance on fourth quarter revenue by nearly 20 percent. Twitter was also down sharply, falling 4.5 percent.

Truck-maker PACCAR Inc. on the other hand, blew away expectations with fourth quarter earnings. It delivered 50,000 trucks and had record revenues in the quarter, handily beating both sales and profits estimates. The stock was up 5.77 percent today -- the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™.

Comcast was up 2.01 percent. The telecom/media giant's stock had been trending down since spiking more than five percent after reporting strong earnings last week. Other notable gains included hospital manager Universal Health Services, (1.63 percent), and REIT Extra Space Storage, (1.88 percent).

3M's solid earnings results helped market sentiment today, but like a growing list of companies, 3M lowered forward guidance because of slowing growth in China. The trade talks between the U.S. and China resume tomorrow.

The market will also be parsing the comments of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell tomorrow. The Fed is expected to leave interest rates where they are, but investors will be looking for clues on the future path for interest rates. Both those issues may affect the stock market this week as much as earnings results.

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on ;

Andrew Osterland

Andrew Osterland is a contributing writer for He specializes in capital markets, personal finance and taxes.

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