The US markets closed lower on Tuesday, as a spate of tepid corporate earnings weighed on the broader market. A decline in shares of Goldman Sachs Group shaved more than 70 points off the Dow industrials after the investment bank's first-quarter results missed expectations. The overall tone of the latest batch of corporate reports was generally lackluster. Meanwhile, tensions between the US and North Korea remain elevated with both countries exchanging threats.
On the economy front, manufacturing output lost momentum in March, dragged down by weakness in the auto sector. Factory output fell 0.4%, the first decline since last August, and the drag would have lowered overall March industrial production if it wasn't for utilities output. A steep 3% decline in the production of autos and auto parts accounted for the drop in manufacturing. It's a reading consistent with the slower pace of auto sales. The decline was not all autos, however, as manufacturing ex-motor vehicles was down 0.2% in March. For the first quarter as a whole, factory output is up at a 2.7% annual rate, despite the drop in March. On an upbeat note, capacity utilization rose to 76.1% in March from an downwardly revised 75.7% in February.
Meanwhile, Kansas City Fed President Esther George said that the Federal Reserve should stick to its plans to continue to raise short-term interest rates despite the economy's recent fits and starts. The first quarter does looks soft but the Fed should not start over-interpreting what it means for the longer-term. Esther George added that she would not predict how many more times the Fed would raise rates this year. The Kansas City Fed President said she hopes the Fed should start to shrink its balance sheet this year. The Fed should move cautiously, because there will be costs in doing so. George is one of the most hawkish Fed regional bank president.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 113.64 points or 0.55 percent to 20,523.28, the Nasdaq dropped 7.32 points or 0.12 percent to 5,849.47, while S&P 500 ended lower by 6.82 points or 0.29 percent to 2,342.19.
The Indian ADRs closed in green; Dr Reddy's was up 0.73%, HDFC Bank was up by 0.69%, Tata Motors was up 0.18%, ICICI Bank was up 0.15% and Wipro was up by 0.06%.