Wall St dragged down by fallout from Turkey’s plunging lira

US stocks dropped on Monday as global jitters from Turkey’s plummeting currency spread to Wall Street, with the S&P 500 and the Dow falling for the fourth session in a row.

Financial stocks bore the brunt of Turkey contagion fears, with shares of Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo & Co and JPMorgan Chase & Co closing down between 0.8% and 2.2%.

A pledge by Turkey’s central bank to stabilize the plummeting lira failed to calm investors’ nerves. The currency has dropped 40% against the dollar so far this year.

“The market’s all about Turkey and the continuation of the trade issues out there,” said Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager of Hodges Funds in Dallas. “The market definitely wants to go higher but we’re having some curves thrown at us along the way that have caused a few day-to-day pull-backs.”

But Apple shares hit an all-time high as the first US listed company to reach $1 trillion in market value continued a post-earnings rally. The stock finished the day up 0.6%.

Amazon also reached a record level, hitting $1 925 per share. The stock closed 0.5% higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 125.44 points, or 0.5%, to 25 187.7, the S&P 500 lost 11.35 points, or 0.40%, to 2 821.93 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 19.40 points, or 0.25%, to 7 819.71.

The second-quarter earnings season is approaching the finish line. Of the 455 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported so far, 79% have beaten analysts’ estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The CBOE Volatility Index, a gauge of investor anxiety, rose for the third straight session to its highest in more than a month.

Netflix Inc announced the departure of Chief Financial Officer David Wells. The streaming service’s shares fell 1.3%.

Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc slid by 4.3% after President Donald Trump tweeted support for a boycott against the company.

Rite Aid Corp fell to more than a five-year low, extending its losses after the retail drugstore chain ended its merger with Albertsons. The stock closed down 5.4%.

Among gainers, Tesla Inc shares edged up 0.3%. Chief executive Elon Musk said he was in discussion with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and other potential backers of his plan to take the electric carmaker private, but he said financing was not yet nailed down.

Nielsen Holdings jumped 12.1% after activist hedge fund Elliott Management disclosed it had taken a stake in the media and consumer research company.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.09-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.88-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 12 new 52-week highs and 8 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 65 new highs and 111 new lows.

Volume on US exchanges was 6.34 billion shares, compared with the 6.43 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

Source: moneyweb.co.za