By Caitlin Ostroff
U.S. share benchmarks ticked lower Wednesday in early trading as investors grappled with uncertainty on Brexit and took stock of the latest corporate earnings.
The broad S&P 500 fell less than 0.1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 41 points as behemoth companies including Boeing reported third-quarter earnings early in the day. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.2%.
Earlier, Texas Instruments dropped 7.5% in off-hours trading on disappointing third-quarter results, and weighed on stocks of chip makers globally. STMicroelectronics declined 1.5% in Europe, while Japan's Renesas Electronics fell 5.3% and South Korea's SK Hynix slumped 1.8%.
Shares of Eli Lilly fell 2.6% after the pharmaceutical company reported its third-quarter profit rose while revenue slightly missed analysts' expectations.
Thermo Fisher Scientific rallied over 5% premarket after the lab-equipment company raised the lower end of its revenue guidance for the year. Medical-device maker Boston Scientific saw shares climb 7% after it revised up its full-year revenue growth.
Meanwhile, the Stoxx Europe 600 index ticked down 0.2%, while the U.K.'s FTSE 250 was flat, after British lawmakers endorsed the terms of a Brexit agreement but rejected the government's proposed timetable. The pound, which had fallen sharply after Tuesday's votes, edged up 0.1%.
Parliament's rejection of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's legislative schedule for Brexit reduced the likelihood of a departure by Oct. 31, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. Mr. Johnson said Tuesday he would try to trigger an election if lawmakers move too slowly in considering his deal.
"There are a lot of moving parts," which makes it hard for investors to position for what happens next, Mr. Hewson said. "We are now in extension territory and we've been in that territory for a while."
As investors flocked to haven assets, eurozone government-bond yields edged lower while the Japanese yen ticked higher and gold prices rose.
The German 10-year bund yield dropped to minus 0.400%, from minus 0.365% on Tuesday. The rate on 10-year U.K. gilts fell to 0.674% from 0.715% Tuesday afternoon. Gold rose 0.6%.
In Europe, shares of Swedbank AB fell 6.2% after the bank posted a bigger-than-expected drop in third-quarter profit, citing a competitive environment.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index fell 0.8% amid reports that China is preparing to replace the city's leader, Carrie Lam.
Brent crude oil slid 0.9% to $59.14 a barrel after recent data signaled a buildup in inventories of crude. Figures to be released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday could put additional pressure on prices if inventories are high, according to ING.
More third-quarter earnings are due later in the day, with heavyweights like Microsoft, Ford Motor and Tesla set to report.
--David Hodari contributed to this article.
Write to Caitlin Ostroff at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 23, 2019 09:49 ET (13:49 GMT)
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