December 14, 2017
Friday, July 24, 2015

Wall St slides to end rough week on macro, earnings concerns

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq posted their largest weekly drops since March today as slowing global growth dragged commodity-related stocks lower while an earnings-fueled drop in Biogen took down the biotech sector.

Biogen more than halved its revenue growth forecast for 2015 and its stock lost 22 percent to close just above $300.

Stocks in the energy and materials sectors weighed heavily on the market after weaker-than-expected economic data from China and the euro zone raised concerns about global growth. Oil prices hit their lowest since March.

Amazon was the bright spot on Friday, rising more than 20 percent at one point and closing up 10 percent at $530.50. The online retailer posted an unexpected quarterly profit and its market cap ballooned to $247 billion, making it the tenth-largest US company by market value.

However, Amazon's spike highlighted the thinning of leadership in the S&P 500. Gains on the index so far this year can be attributed to Amazon and just three more companies.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 163.39 points, or 0.92 percent, to 17,568.53, the S&P 500 lost 22.5 points, or 1.07 percent, to 2,079.65 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 57.78 points, or 1.12 percent, to 5,088.63.

For the week, the S&P fell 2.2 percent and the Nasdaq slid 2.3 percent in their largest weekly drops since the last week of March. The 2.9 percent fall on the Dow was the largest for any week since January.

European shares were turning higher as investors chewed over mixed earnings updates, getting support from well-received updates from Vodafone and Thales.

British telecom firm Vodafone rose 3.7 percent, adding the most points to an advance on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 , after results that showed improvements across major markets in Germany and Britain.

French defence group Thales was up 8 percent, hitting an all-time high after its results.

First-half operating profit rose by a wider-than-expected 18 percent to 473 million euros ($519 million), buoyed in part by a tighter grip on costs in its defence and security business.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.4 percent at 1,585.05 having hit a one-week low, turning positive after weak private sector growth data, which sent bond yields lower and kept the pressure on the European Central Bank to stimulate the euro zone economy.

The biggest faller on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was satellite operator SES, down 7.1 percent after it cut its full-year revenue and profit guidance, hit by a delayed satellite launch and a decline in earnings from fixed data customers due to the strong dollar.

German firm BASF, the world's largest chemicals company by sales, fell 4.1 percent after earnings missed expectations.

Spain's IBEX underperformed the market, trading flat. Abengoa was the top faller, slumping 13 percent shortly after the open, despite saying it would act to prevent speculative trading on its debt after a day of losses for its bonds, credit default swaps and stock on Thursday.

Banco Sabadell fell 3.5 percent after reporting that profitability at dropped in the second quarter, while insurer Mapfre fell 3.7 percent after also seeing profits fall.

British emergency energy supplier Aggreko fell 14 percent after issuing a profit warning.

With 18 percent of STOXX Europe 600 companies having reported results, only 33 percent have beaten or met expectations, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data, with 67 percent missing expectations.

In Asia, Japanese shares fell to a 1-1/2 week low, dragged down by an economic survey that showed weak manufacturing activity in China, while equally dismal corporate earnings in the US added to the gloom.

The Nikkei share average ended 0.7 percent lower at 20,544.53, the lowest closing level since July 15. The index closed out the week with a 0.5 percent loss.

The broader Topix fell 0.5 percent to 1,655.86, and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 dropped 0.6 percent to 14,929.07.

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