Stock markets subdued as investors assess flurry of earnings

US and European stocks were slightly lower on Tuesday as investors assessed the latest flurry of corporate earnings and business activity surveys for clues about the health of the global economy.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 was flat by the mid-afternoon in New York. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.3 per cent.

The muted activity came after trading in dozens of blue-chip stocks were briefly halted following problems with the New York Stock Exchange’s opening auction.

The equity moves also preceded quarterly results from Microsoft, due after the closing bell, which come days after the tech giant announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs by the end of March and confirmed it will invest billions of dollars in ChatGPT bot maker OpenAI.

Aerospace and defence contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon were two of the US companies to report earlier in the day, with the former reporting lower year-on-year sales but beating analysts’ revenue…

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