Technology shares lead a slump in US stocks; Apple sinks

Technology shares lead a slump in US stocks; Apple sinks

Disappointing quarterly results from Apple, Microsoft & other companies weighed on stocks in afternoon trading Wednesday as the market headed for its second decline in as many days. Technology stocks were among the biggest decliners. A report indicating U.S. home sales surged last month helped lift homebuilder stocks.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 84 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,834 as of 1:23 p.m. Eastern Time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped six points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,112. The Nasdaq composite lost 37 points, or 0.7 percent, to 5,170.

THE QUOTE: As the biggest publicly traded company in the world, Apple has a huge impact on the market. However, its latest results don't necessarily speak to the overall health of the economy or corporate America, said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank.

p>"Do iPhone sales tell us a lot approximately the broader economy & the markets or does it tell us more approximately Apple? It probably tells us more approximately Apple," Davidson said. "In general, you have a U.S. economy that is recovering. Earnings are going fairly well."

APPLE WORRIES: Apple slumped 4.6 percent a day after the company gave a cautious outlook for the current quarter & didn't provide much detail on how its new smartwatch was doing. The stock fell $5.98 to 124.77.

BAD CALL: Microsoft reported a hefty quarterly loss late Tuesday reflecting an expense of $8.4 billion related to its purchase of the Nokia phone business over a year ago. The stock was down $1.31, or 2.8 percent, to $45.97.

EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS: Whirlpool jumped 6.6 percent on news that the appliance maker's second-quarter earnings beat Wall Street's expectations. The stock rose $10.91 to $177.12.

APPETIZING RESULTS: Chipotle Mexican Grill climbed 7.9 percent a day after the Mexican-food chain served up earnings that beat forecasts by financial analysts. The stock added $53.26 to $726.33.

HOME SALES SURGE: The National Association of Realtors said that sales of previously occupied homes climbed 3.2 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million. That's the highest pace in more than eight years & indicates that demand has eclipsed the amount of homes available for sale. Homebuilder shares received a bump from the report, with Ryland Group notching the biggest gain. The stock rose $1.67, or 3.7 percent, to $46.67.

OVERSEAS MARKETS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was down 0.7 percent, while the CAC-40 in France fell 0.5 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 1.5 percent. In Asia, stocks closed mostly lower. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.2 percent & South Korea's Kospi lost 0.9 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 1 percent.

ANOTHER GREEK VOTE: Though fears of a Greek exit from the euro have faded somewhat following last week's decision by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to back further austerity measures in return for a third bailout of the country, some hurdles remain to be cleared. On Wednesday, Greek lawmakers have to back further economic reforms demanded by international creditors in return for the new bailout.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 94 cents to $49.92 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 54 cents at $56.50 a barrel in London.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.32 percent from 2.33 percent.

Stocks & Offerings

Source: “Associated Press”

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