Technology Companies Lead Slide in US Markets; Oil Rising
07 December 2018, 22:00
U.S. stocks fell sharply Friday, erasing an early gain, as the market closed in on its third weekly decline in four weeks.
Losses in technology and health care stocks outweighed gains elsewhere in the market. Energy companies led the gainers as crude oil prices rose on news that OPEC members agreed to cut production next year, VOA news reports.
The government said job growth in November fell short of economists’ expectations.
Keeping score: The S&P 500 index fell 41 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,654 as of 11:25 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 411 points, or 1.7 percent, to 24,536. The Nasdaq composite slid 135 points, or 1.9 percent, to 7,053. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks slipped 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,473.
Energy: Oil prices rose after OPEC countries agreed to reduce global oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day for six months, beginning in January. The move would include a reduction of 800,000 barrels per day from OPEC countries and 400,000 barrels per day from Russia and other non-OPEC nations. The news, which had been widely anticipated, pushed crude oil prices higher.
U.S. benchmark crude jumped 4.8 percent to $53.94 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 5.4 percent to $63.33 a barrel in London.
The pickup in oil prices sent energy stocks higher. Anadarko Petroleum gained 3.3 percent to $53.30.
Tech slide: A sell-off in technology stocks weighed on the market. Hewlett Packard Enterprise slumped 7.3 percent to $14.85.
Call a doctor: Health care sector stocks, the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 this year, took some of the heaviest losses. Cooper lost 7.8 percent to $255.12
Not so pretty: Ulta Beauty slid 9.6 percent to $264.74 after the cosmetics retailer’s latest quarterly report card exceeded analysts’ expectations, but its earnings outlook disappointed traders.
Smoke this: Tobacco company Altria, which makes Marlboro cigarettes, rose 2.4 percent to $55.68 after announcing a $2.4 billion investment in Cronos Group, a Canadian medical and recreational marijuana company.
Solid quarter: Broadcom added 1 percent to $229.46 after the technology company reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that topped Wall Street’s forecasts.
Jobs report: The Labor Department said U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in November, a slowdown from recent months but enough to suggest that the economy is expanding at a solid pace despite sharp gyrations in the stock market. The unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent, nearly a five-decade low, for the third straight month. Average hourly pay rose 3.1 percent from a year ago, matching the previous month’s figure, which was the best since 2009. The jobs figure was less than many economists forecast, but few saw the report as a sign of a broader slowdown.
Bond yields: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.89 percent from 2.87 percent on Thursday.
Currencies: The dollar rose to 112.66 yen from 112.65 yen late Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.1390 from $1.1373.
Markets overseas: In Europe, Germany’s DAX added 0.1 percent while the CAC 40 in France rose 1.1 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 jumped 1.5 percent. Major indexes in Asia finished mostly higher. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.8 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.4 percent. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gave up 0.3 percent.