Stock futures were in the green Wednesday, following two straight negative days to begin August trading. In Tuesday’s down session, investors grappled with increased tensions between Washington and Beijing, as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, and comments on inflation and future rate hikes from a number of Federal Reserve officials. The S&P 500 enters Wednesday down nearly 1% for the week, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has declined 0.34%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is the laggard, falling 1.37% week to date.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left Taiwan on Wednesday around 6 a.m. ET, marking the end to a brief but controversial stop in the self-ruled island that China claims as its own territory. While there, the California Democrat met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and signaled her support for the democratic island. “Our [congressional] delegation came here to send an unequivocal message: America stands with Taiwan,” Pelosi said, according to NBC News. After repeatedly warning Pelosi against visiting Taiwan, Beijing has responded by banning various imports of Taiwanese goods into China including biscuits, grapefruit and frozen horse mackerel. China’s Ministry of Commerce paused exports of natural sand to Taiwan, and the country’s military also began conducting drills in the air and sea around Taiwan.
Shares of CVS Health rose Wednesday after the company raised its full-year profit outlook and topped Wall Street’s expectations with its second-quarter results. CVS now expects adjusted earnings between $8.40 and $8.60 per share this year, up from its prior guidance of $8.20 to $8.40. The company, which in addition to its drugstores owns health insurer Aetna, saw second-quarter sales rise 11% year over year to $80.64 billion, topping Refinitiv estimates of $76.37 billion. Adjusted earnings per share in the quarter of $2.40 also exceeded analyst estimates of $2.17.
A number of noteworthy companies reported quarterly numbers after Tuesday’s close. Here’s quick breakdown of how they did:
Mortgage applications rose last week, the first time since June 24 that volume increased on a week-to-week basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Total mortgage demand increased 1.2%, helped by the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate recording its biggest weekly drop since 2020. Applications to buy a home increased 1% compared with the previous week, while refinance applications rose 2%, the MBA said. The latest mortgage data comes amid concerns about weakening consumer confidence and a slowing U.S. economy, as the Fed tightens monetary policy in hopes of cooling the hottest inflation since the early 1980s.
— CNBC’s Su-Lin Tan, Melissa Repko and Lisa Rizzolo contributed to this report.NBC News also contributed.