The S&P 500 slipped 6.77 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,756.54. The Dow dropped 73.01 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,545. The Nasdaq composite fell 10.91 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,919.71.
Avon slumped $4.90, or 21.9 percent, to $17.50 after the beauty products company reported a third-quarter loss, reflecting lower sales and China-related charges. The company also said the Securities and Exchange Commission is proposing a much larger penalty than it expected to settle bribery allegations.
Visa fell $7.15, or 3.5 percent, to $196.67. Its quarterly profits fell 28 percent as it set aside money for taxes. Visa also expects a slow recovery for the economy.
Overall, company earnings are beating the expectations of Wall Street analysts and lifting stock prices. Companies are benefiting from low borrowing costs and stable labor expenses, which are enabling them to boost earnings even as sales remain slack.
Earnings for companies in the S&P 500 are expected to grow 5.3 percent in the third quarter, according to data from S&P Capital IQ. That compares with 4.9 percent in the second quarter, and 2.4 percent in the same period a year ago.
The stock market is likely to keep climbing as long as the central bank keeps up its stimulus, said Up Capital's Bayer. But stocks could fall as much as 20 percent when the Fed starts to cut back on its bond-buying program, he said.