Stocks Lower as Control of Congress Remains Unclear

U.S. equities are lower as the global markets await the final results of the U.S. midterm elections as the control of the Congress remains undetermined. Meanwhile, volatility in the cryptocurrency markets continues as Binance Holdings is reportedly set to acquire, which has experienced some liquidity issues. Earnings reports continue to trickle in, with Dow member Walt Disney Company missing Q4 expectations. In other equity news, Meta Platforms announced large-scale layoffs as the company tries to become a more leaner tech firm. Treasuries are nearly flat, and the U.S. dollar is gaining ground, while crude oil prices are decreasing, and gold is little changed. The economic front is quiet, with mortgage applications falling for a seventh-straight week. Asia finished mixed following some Chinese inflation data, and Europe is also diverging.

At 10:53 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is falling 0.8%, the S&P 500 Index is declining 0.9%, and the Nasdaq Composite is down 1.2%. WTI crude oil is decreasing $2.21 to $86.70 per barrel, and Brent crude oil is $1.96 lower at $93.40 per barrel. The gold spot price is nudging $0.20 to the downside to $1,715.80 per ounce, and the Dollar Index is up 0.5% to 110.08.

Dow member Walt Disney Company (DIS $89) reported adjusted fiscal Q4 earnings-per-share (EPS) of $0.30, below the $0.50 FactSet estimate, as revenues rose 9.0% year-over-year (y/y) to $20.2 billion, south of the expected $21.3 billion. The company said it saw strong subscription growth, which came in above estimates, with the addition of 14.6 million total subscriptions, including 12.1 million Disney+ subscribers. The company added that by realigning its costs and realizing the benefits of price increases and its Disney+ ad-supported tier coming in December, it believes it will be on the path to achieve a profitable streaming business. Revenue out of its media and entertainment segment came in below forecasts and its revenue out of its parks unit also came in below estimates. Shares of DIS are tumbling.

Meta Platforms Inc. (META $103) announced that it will reduce its workforce by about 13%, or more than 11,000 employees, and cut its discretionary spending aimed at becoming a leaner and more efficient company, while extending its hiring freeze through Q1. The social media company and the parent of Facebook said it is making these changes, as its revenue outlook is lower than it expected at the beginning of the year, and it wants to make sure it is operating efficiently across both its family of apps and reality labs segments. META reaffirmed its Q4 revenue guidance. META is trading higher.

Stocks have risen for two sessions in a row after last week's solid drawdown, as bond yields have dipped from a recent jump but the U.S. dollar remains choppy, while the markets continue to digest last week's Fed decision to raise rates by 75 basis points (bps) for a fourth-straight time to try to cool off inflation, adding to global economic pressures and threatening corporate profits as discussed in the latest Schwab Market Perspective: No Stopping the Fed.

Meanwhile, as Q3 earnings season heads down the home stretch, of the 453 S&P 500 companies that have reported results thus far, about 58% have topped revenue expectations and roughly 69% have bested profit projections, per data compiled by Bloomberg. Compared to last year, revenues are 12.2% higher and earnings growth is on track to be up 3.8%.