U.S. Stock ETFs Trip Toward the Close as Traders Mull Earnings

U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds started off on the right footing Wednesday as earnings helped prop up gains, but markets still stumbled toward the end of the day.

The S&P 500 Index, along with related funds including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) and Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO), dipped 0.1% Wednesday.

Among the largest losers of the day, International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM) declined 5.0% Wednesday, falling below its 200-day simple moving average, after the behemoth revealed worst-than-expected declines in revenue for the first time in five quarters.

Additionally, the energy sector slipped as crude oil prices fell over 4% after U.S. data revealed a counter-seasonal build in gasoline inventories and a smaller-than-expected dip in overall crude stocks.

“Crude broke $52 on WTI, that is the strongest correlation we have right now away from the case-by-case earnings we have,” Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, told Reuters. “Except for a couple of household names, (earnings) have been good. The problem with our impression of the earnings season is we just talk about the bad news.”