U.S. stocks fell Wednesday after Fitch downgraded the long-term rating for the U.S. and traders scrutinized the latest batch of second-quarter earnings results.
Fitch Ratings cut the long-term foreign currency issuer default rating for the U.S. to AA+ from AAA Tuesday night, citing “expected fiscal deterioration over the next three years.”
“While it’s disappointing, I don’t think we’ll have a meaningful impact to the economy in the near term, but it’s a warning shot to Washington,” Brooke May, managing partner at Evans May Wealth told CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange” on Wednesday.
On top of that, a busy earnings week carried on. Advanced Micro Devices was flat despite better-than-expected results. CVS Health rose 2% after posting strong earnings as it trims costs. SolarEdge Technologies tumbled 16% after missing second-quarter revenue expectations.
Earnings season is more than halfway through with results coming in stronger than expected. Of the S&P 500 companies that have reported, about 82% have posted positive surprises, according to FactSet data. The earnings beats have added to bullish investor sentiment, continuing this year’s recovery.
“A soft landing is quickly becoming consensus and stocks may take a breather post a strong rally,” said Emmanuel Cau, head of European equity strategy at Barclays. “But absent a negative catalyst to alter the goldilocks narrative, we think the grind higher can continue.”
Elsewhere, the latest ADP jobs report showed 324,000 private payrolls added in July. That far exceeded the jobs gains expected by economists polled by Dow Jones, but marked a decrease from June’s downwardly revised 455,000.
Wednesday’s moves follow a lackluster first day of trading to start August. The S&P 500 fell 0.27%, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.43%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2%, and reached its highest level since February 2022 at one point in the session.
— CNBC’s Darla Mercado contributed to this report.