Wall St gives up record high following weak results, Draghi

Wall Street fell from record highs on Thursday following a flurry of downbeat quarterly results from Ford Motor and other companies and after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi’s comments disappointed investors hoping for a more dovish stance on monetary policy.

The ECB signaled its intention to explore monetary easing but did not cut interest rates, and President Mario Draghi sounded more upbeat on the economy than investors expected.

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut interest rates next week to bolster the US economy, even as the US unemployment rate sits at its lowest in 50 years.

“The ECB’s rosier outlook may be giving the market a bit of a chill,” said Chuck Carlson, chief executive of Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana.

“The market continues to hope for dovish central banks and the actions of one central bank lead the market to wonder what that means for the Federal Reserve.”

Ford tumbled 7.45% after the automaker reported a lower-than-expected profit and gave a disappointing full-year earnings forecast.

The S&P 500 information technology index fell 0.8%, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index falling 1.7% from record highs.

Xilinx tumbled 3.4% after the chipmaker gave a weak quarterly forecast, hit by the impact of US restrictions on selling to Huawei Technologies.

Facebook dropped 1.9% after the social media giant said new rules and product changes aimed at protecting user privacy would slow its revenue growth into next year.

Align Technology plunged 27% and was the biggest decliner on the S&P 500 after the orthodontic device maker’s current-quarter forecast came in below estimates.

Two weeks into the second-quarter earnings season, about 75% of the 185 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have topped profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

Broad expectations that the Fed would cut rates to counter the impact of a protracted trade war have helped Wall Street’s main indexes scale record levels this month.

The Nasdaq Composite tumbled 1% to 8 238.54.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.47% to end at 27 141.05 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.53% to 3 003.7.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs on Wednesday.

In extended trade, Amazon.com fell 2% after its quarterly operating income forecast missed analysts’ expectations.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.61-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.63-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 29 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 83 new highs and 93 new lows.

Volume on US exchanges was 6.6 billion shares, compared with the 6.3 billion-share average for the full session over the last 20 trading days. 

Source: moneyweb.co.za