The decline of IBM and Intel weighs on Wall Street as coronavirus fears mount

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Major indexes fell on Wall Street on Friday, weighed by losses by technology companies Intel and IBM, after their quarterly results, as hopes for a full reopening of the economy in the coming months dwindled.

Photo from the file: A poster on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan in New York City, New York, USA, October 2, 2020. REUTERS / Carlo Alegre / File Photo

IBM Corp. fell 9.83% and was the biggest hurdle on the Dow Jones Industrial Average after it missed its quarterly revenue estimates, hit by a rare slump in its software unit sales.

Intel Corp plunged 8.93% as new CEO Pat Gelsinger’s post-earnings comments indicated a lack of strong adoption of outsourcing.

“The challenge facing the (technology) industry at this point in the earnings season is the amount of their earnings growth projections that have been pulled through to 2020 and may not be available in 2021 Seattle,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment analyst at US Bank Wealth Management in the United States. .

However, losses in the technology sector offset gains from Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and Facebook Inc, which kept declines in major US stock indices in check.

Energy, finance, industries and consumer appreciation stocks, which were among the best performing sectors since the US elections in November, tumbled the most on Friday.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indices trimmed some of the losses after the opening bell as data showed that US manufacturing activity surprisingly rose to its highest level in more than 13-1 / 2 years in early January, in contrast to the disappointing result in PM data. Earlier in Europe.

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By 2:18 PM EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 121.68 points, or 0.39%, to 31,054.33 points, the S&P 500 lost 9.35 points, or 0.24%, to 3,843.72 points, and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 14.42 points, or 0.11%, to 13,516.49. .

Despite the weakness, the three main indexes were set for weekly gains, with the high-tech Nasdaq tracking its best weekly performance since November 6 as investors piled up in Alphabet Inc, Apple Inc and Amazon.com anticipating their earnings reports in the coming weeks.

With stock valuations approaching levels not seen since the dotcom era, some market participants said that new variants of COVID-19 and hiccups in vaccine launches pose near-term risks.

At a White House event on Thursday, President Joe Biden said the US death toll from the pandemic is likely to exceed 500,000 next month.

“If we have to keep the economy shut down, and it takes longer than we want to get vaccinations and vaccinations against the Coronavirus, that will be more severe in the market than people apparently expected,” Haworth said.

The Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved the nomination of Janet Yellen as the first female Secretary of the Treasury, indicating that she would easily win full Senate approval.

The number of low issues outnumbered the number of advanced issues on the New York Stock Exchange by 1.54 to 1; On the Nasdaq, the ratio was 1.21 to 1 in favor of declining stocks.

The S&P 500 hit a 52-week high and there were no new lows. The Nasdaq Composite recorded 128 new highs and 6 new lows.

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