US STOCKS-Tech slide hits Wall St as coronavirus cases spiral

US STOCKS-Tech slide hits Wall St as coronavirus cases spiral

Reuters  | Oct 31, 2020 01:00

US STOCKS-Tech slide hits Wall St as coronavirus cases spiral

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* Twitter slumps as user growth disappoints
* Apple, Amazon, Facebook drop after results
* Alphabet rises as businesses resume ad spending
* Indexes down: Dow 0.9%, S&P 1.3%, Nasdaq 2.1%

(Adds comment, details; Updates prices)
By Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan
Oct 30 (Reuters) - Wall Street's major indexes tumbled on
Friday, dragged down by a slide in shares of tech heavyweights
following their quarterly results, with a record rise in
coronavirus cases and nerves over the presidential election
adding to a downbeat mood.
The three main indexes were on course for their worst week
since March on prospects of wider COVID-19 restrictions in
Europe, while surging cases in the United States pushed
hospitals to the brink of capacity. The CBOE volatility index .VIX held at a 20-week high
ahead of the final weekend before Election Day on Tuesday.
"We're two market days away from Election Day and people
want to make sure that they're not completely caught off guard,"
said Pete Santoro, a Boston-based equity portfolio manager at
Columbia Threadneedle.
Apple Inc AAPL.O tumbled about 5.5% after it posted the
steepest drop in quarterly iPhone sales in two years due to the
late launch of new 5G phones. Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O fell 4.7% after it forecast a jump
in costs related to COVID-19, while Facebook Inc FB.O shed
5.7% as it warned of a tougher 2021. Tech .SPLRCT and consumer discretionary .SPLRCD sectors
posted the steepest percentage declines.
Communication services .SPLRCL got a boost from a 4.4%
jump in shares of Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O after the Google parent
beat estimates for quarterly sales as businesses resumed
advertising. "There is a big selloff in those big tech names because they
didn't live up to the hype and people are really worried about
next week's election," said Kim Forrest, chief investment
officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.
President Donald Trump has consistently trailed Democratic
challenger Biden in national polls for months, but polls in the
most competitive states have shown a closer race. At 12:32 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI
fell 239.82 points, or 0.90% to 26,419.29, the S&P 500 .SPX
lost 41.73 points, or 1.26% to 3,268.38 and the Nasdaq Composite
.IXIC lost 237.30 points or 2.12% to 10,948.30.
The third-quarter earnings season is past its halfway mark,
with about 86.2% of S&P 500 companies topping earnings
estimates, according to Refinitiv data. Overall, profit is
expected to fall 10.3% from a year earlier.
Twitter Inc TWTR.N slumped about 20% after the
micro-blogging site added fewer users than expected and warned
the U.S. election could impact ad revenue. AbbVie Inc ABBV.N gained 4.3% after the drugmaker raised
its full-year profit forecast, bolstered by signs of recovery in
demand for its Botox injection. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a
2.3-to-1 ratio, while on Nasdaq, a 0.4-to-1 ratio favored
decliners.
The S&P 500 posted three new 52-week highs and one new low,
whereas the Nasdaq Composite recorded 16 new highs and 76 new
lows.

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