By Anna Isaac and Paul Vigna 

U.S. stocks wavered a day after the S&P 500 set a new record as investors sifted through a heavy batch of earnings reports and awaited key economic data later this week.

The broad stock-market index set a fresh record Monday, its first since July. That move hasn't spurred a new round of buying, however, as investors still seem to be debating whether fundamentals back the move.

"To break higher from here, you need to see the economic data turn up," said Rupert Thompson, head of research at Kingswood Group in London.

In early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 16 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.4%.

This week brings several key reports, including third-quarter GDP on Wednesday and the monthly jobs report on Friday. Also on the calendar is the Federal Reserve's October policy meeting on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, investors were looking at another round of earnings reports.

General Motors, which said the worker strike this year cost it $3 billion and cut its 2019 profit forecast, climbed 5.1% after third-quarter earnings beat Street estimates.

Shares of Pfizer rose 3.3% after the drugmaker raised its financial targets for 2019. Rival Merck gained 2.6% after it, too, boosted its full-year outlook.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 index declined 0.4%, led by losses in financial services and the oil and gas sectors.

The British pound pared back earlier losses and traded at about $1.29 after the main opposition party in the U.K. said it would support efforts to hold an early general election. That makes a national ballot that might help break the parliamentary deadlock over Prime Minister Boris Johnson's divorce deal with the European Union more likely. The FTSE 100 index declined 0.7%.

"It's a never-ending and ever-changing soap opera," Mr. Thompson said. That's made it hard for investors, he said, and helps explain why sterling has been stuck in a range.

In European equity markets, Fresenius Medical Care and its parent, Fresenius SE, led gains. Shares in the Fresenius Medical rose 4.6% after the maker of products for treating kidney disease posted higher third-quarter profit and revenue. Its German parent climbed 2.7% after the health-care company also reporter stronger figures.

Across Asian markets, the picture was more mixed, with the Nikkei 225 index up 0.5%, while the Shanghai Composite slumped 0.9%.

U.S. crude fell 1.5% to $54.97 a barrel after data Monday showed rising inventories. Investors will look at American Petroleum Institute data due out later Tuesday.

Write to Anna Isaac at and Paul Vigna at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 29, 2019 10:29 ET (14:29 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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