Wall Street slumps as tech stocks slide, COVID cases jump

In this news, we discuss the Wall Street slumps as tech stocks slide, COVID cases jump.

(Reuters) – US stocks fell on Friday, driven by lower tech heavyweight stocks following their quarterly results, with a record rise in coronavirus cases and nerves in the presidential election adding to a pessimistic mood.

Apple Inc fell around 6% after posting biggest quarterly decline iPhone sales in two years due to the late launch of new 5G phones.

Amazon.com Inc fell 4% after forecasting higher costs related to COVID-19, while Facebook Inc lost 3.5% on warning of a more difficult 2021.

Tech and the consumer discretionary sectors posted the largest percentage declines.

Communications services were boosted by a 5.7% rise in Alphabet Inc shares after Google’s parent beat quarterly sales estimates as companies resumed advertising.

“The market reaction today is more about where (the technological results) came in compared to the expectations of some people. Take a step back and look at the growth these companies have delivered, it’s pretty impressive, ”said Pete Santoro, Boston-based equity portfolio manager at Columbia Threadneedle.

“We are two market days away from election day and people want to make sure they are not completely caught off guard.”

President Donald Trump has always followed Democratic challenger Biden in national polls for months, but polls in more competitive states have shown a tighter race.

Wall Street’s fear gauge held steady at a 20-week high before the last weekend before election day Tuesday.

At 9:50 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 229.87 points, or 0.86%, to 26,429.24 and the S&P 500 lost 32.67 points, or 0.99%, to 3,277 , 35. The Nasdaq Composite lost 187.12 points, or 1.67%, to 10,998.48.

The S&P 500 and Dow were on track for their worst week since March as the skyrocketing coronavirus cases in the United States pushed hospitals to the edge of capacity.

According to data from Refinitiv, the third-quarter earnings season has passed its half, with about 84.8% of S&P 500 companies beating earnings estimates. Overall, profits are expected to fall 13.4% from the previous year.

Twitter Inc fell 18% after microblogging site reported fewer users than expected and warned that the US election could impact ad revenue.

Under Armor Inc grew 6% on annual revenue above analyst estimates, boosted by increased online demand for running shoes and other fitness equipment.

AbbVie Inc gained 5% after the drugmaker posted better-than-expected quarterly profits and raised its adjusted full-year profit guidance.

Falling issues outnumbered those that rose on the NYSE by a 2.1 to 1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, a ratio of 0.4 to 1 favored the advancers.

The S&P 500 posted two new 52-week highs and a new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded six new highs and 30 new lows.

Report by Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Anil D’Silva

Original © Thomson Reuters

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