United States stocks edge lower as traders weigh earnings; oil rises

Earlier in the day, Twitter surged 15 percent in its biggest one-day gain in a year after the social media company easily beat Wall Street's revenue and profit estimates. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite dropped 176 points, or 2.4 percent, to 7,145.

USA stocks finished a punishing session sharply lower on Wednesday (Oct 24), with major indices sinking more than two percent and the Dow and S&P 500 tumbling and wiping out all the 2018 gains.

The S&P 500 index slid 46.88 points, or 1.7 percent, to 2,658.69. The indexes were pulled down by Amazon, Facebook and Netflix, all of which lost more than 5 percentage points in value, while Google-parent Alphabet plummeted 4.8 percent.

The benchmark S&P 500 index in the U.S. slid more than 1.7%, closing down nearly 10% from its September high.

The Dow and S&P 500 both moved back in positive territory for the year.

All of the 11 major S&P sectors were in the red, with the communication services taking the steepest hit with a 2.06 percent fall and technology stocks down 1.48 percent.

Among gainers, McDonald's rose 6.3 percent after it beat estimates for quarterly same-store sales on strong demand in global markets, while Verizon rallied 4.1 percent after it beat estimates for profit and net new phone subscribers.

In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost 50 cents to United States dollars 66.34 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Meanwhile, today's data from the U.S. showed that the real GDP expanded by 3.5% in the third quarter according to the first estimate of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The beaten-down S&P technology sector retreated another 4.4 percent.

Companies including 3M, down more than 3%, and Caterpillar, down more than 7%, suggested in earnings reports that they would be passing along to consumers increased costs due to tariffs.

The FTSE 100 closed down 0.92 per cent, or 64.54 points, to 6939.56, while the FTSE 250 shed 0.96 per cent, or 178.63 points, to 18,352.90.

Twitter soared 15.5 percent to $31.80 and electric auto maker Tesla jumped 9.1 percent to $314.86 after their quarterly reports, while video game maker Take-Two vaulted 8.8 percent to $120.70 after strong reviews for its latest game, "Red Dead Redemption 2".

BOND YIELDS: U.S. bond prices rose.

Energy stocks fell 3.50 percent, the most among the sectors, as oil prices plunged after Saudi Arabia said it could supply more crude quickly if needed, easing concerns ahead of USA sanctions on Iran. The index is now off about 9.4 per cent from its September 20 peak.

USA trade wars, Federal Reserve rates policy, and the dispute between Italy and the European Union are also pressuring the markets.

Bond prices rose as investors sought safety, sending yields lower. The euro fell to $1.1353 from $1.1359.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major indexes in Europe finished mixed. Brent crude, the benchmark for worldwide oil prices, rose 0.9 percent to $76.89 a barrel in London. Futures markets for Japan's Nikkei index are also down more than 2%.

  • Anthony Vega