The S&P 500 fell slightly on Tuesday as investors weighed tensions between the US and China with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi beginning a visit to Taiwan, while continuing to watch earnings and economic data.
The S&P 500 was down just 0.1% after falling nearly 1% earlier in the session. The benchmark dropped from the lows when Pelosi’s plane landed safely in Taiwan on Tuesday morning. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2%, boosted for a big profit on Uber after earnings.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was the outlier, falling 170.65 points, or 0.5%, weighed down by Caterpillar, which opened more than 4% lower. reporting disappointing quarterly results .
Pelosi is expected to spend the night in Taiwan, Reuters reported. Before the trip, Chinese officials threatened to take action if Pelosi went ahead with the visit. Pelosi is the first Speaker of the House since Newt Gingrich in 1997 to visit Taiwan.
“I don’t think the trip will lead to any real economic disruption, but certainly the rhetoric and the headlines are starting to intensify and it’s something we have to watch going forward,” said Mona Mahajan, senior investment strategist by Edward Jones, on CNBC. Squawk Box” on Tuesday. “Geopolitical tension has been a theme that we’ve really been seeing all year that has been weighing on the markets.”
Traders also expect another round of earnings from companies including Starbucks, PayPal and Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday after the bell. On the economic data side, investors this week look to the July non-farm payrolls report due out on Friday for further clues about the state of the economy and labor market.