US stocks mixed as market digest earnings, Fed decision

A screen displays a statement by Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell as a trader works on the floor at New York Stock Exchange.
A screen displays a statement by Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell as a trader works on the floor at New York Stock Exchange.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Nasdaq rallied while the Dow fell on Wednesday (July 28) as investors digested a slew of mostly positive earnings reports and a Federal Reserve decision that maintained accommodative monetary policies.

One of the busiest 24-hour stretches of earnings season featured mostly strong reports from a litany of huge companies, including Apple, Google parent Alphabet, Starbucks and Boeing.

But several of the companies declined anyway, suggesting investors believe "that it will be hard to sustain the same level of growth moving forward and that a lot of the good news has been priced in," according to Briefing.com.

Meanwhile, the Fed again described the United States economy as improving but still in need of support, with Fed chairman Jerome Powell offering little specificity on when stimulus measures will be reduced.

"There's a range of views on what timing will be appropriate," he said. "No decisions were made."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.4 per cent at 34,930.93.

The broad-based S&P 500 was flat at 4,400.64, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.7 per cent to 14,762.58.

Among individual companies, Boeing surged 4.2 per cent after reporting a surprise profit in the quarter - its first since late 2019 - which will allow it to hold on to employees it had planned to lay off.