Wall Street’s major equity indexes fell on Friday as weak earnings reports from major technology companies led to a large decline for the sector.
Intel was down 8.6 percent after the company’s data center business missed estimates amid stiff rivalry from Advanced Micro Devices. AMD rose 3.2 percent.
Twitter fell 20.5 percent after the company reported a decline in monthly active users, versus the increase analysts had expected, and warned of further drops as it deletes phony accounts.
The S&P 500 technology index fell 2.0 percent, the most among the major S&P sectors.
Apple, which is set to report quarterly results on Tuesday, fell 1.7 percent. Microsoft and Alphabet, which had soared after both companies recently reported strong quarterly results, fell 1.8 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. Alphabet shares touched an all-time high earlier in the session but reversed course.
The pressure on tech stocks started on Thursday after Facebook gave a dismal forecast that caught investors off guard over growth prospects in a sector that has led the market’s march toward record highs.
The Nasdaq exceeded Thursday’s losses to register once again its largest daily percentage drop in a month.
For the week, the Nasdaq was down 1.06 percent, but the S&P chalked up a gain of 0.61 percent. The Dow added 1.57 percent.
Intel and Twitter’s disappointing results overshadowed data from the Commerce Department indicating that the economy grew at a 4.1 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, its fastest pace in nearly four years, on higher consumer spending and farmers rushing soybean shipments to China to beat tariffs.
Economists and investors cautioned against putting too much weight on the growth, which matched expectations, as the trade-related boost is expected to unwind later this year.
AbbVie fell 3.6 percent after sales of its Humira drug in the second quarter barely exceeded Street views, raising concerns about the drug’s viability as a cash-cow.
Amazon was up as much as 4 percent to a record high of $1,880.05 after the e-commerce giant forecast strong sales and posted a profit that was double Street estimates. Amazon shares ended the trading day up 0.5 percent.
Approximately 6.81 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, as compared to the 6.04 billion share average over the past 20 trading days.
GDP Does Not Disappoint
The economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly four years during the second quarter as consumers raised spending and farmers rushed shipments of soybeans to China to beat retaliatory trade tariffs before they took effect in early July.
The nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) chalked up a 4.1 percent annualized gain as government spending also increased, the Commerce Department said in its snapshot of second-quarter GDP on Friday. That was strongest performance since the third quarter of 2014.
January-March quarter GDP growth was revised up to a 2.2 percent pace from the previously reported 2.0 percent rate to account for new source information and methodology improvements.
Compared to the second quarter of 2017, the economy grew 2.8 percent. Output expanded 3.1 percent in the first half of 2018, putting the economy on track to achieve a 3 percent annual rate of growth.
With Friday’s report the government also published comprehensive revisions to prior GDP data, which did not change the previously presented economic picture.
The United States slapped 25 percent duties on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods effective July 6, provoking a similar response from Beijing, which targeted soybeans and other agricultural products as well as U.S.-made cars.
Trump has also imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, leading to retaliation by the United States’ main trade partners, including Canada, the European Union, Mexico and China. There was also a front-loading of exports of other goods in the second quarter.
With the trade-related boost expected to unwind in the second half of the year, economists caution against putting much weight on the surge in the April-June quarter growth. The economy will this year be supported by a $1.5 trillion tax cut package and increased government spending.
The key question is whether the economy can continue at this pace in the face of trade tensions and rising rates. The stimulus is expected to fade sometime next year.
Import duties are seen undercutting economic growth, with higher prices for goods discouraging consumer spending and businesses shelving investment plans. Economists in a Reuters poll earlier this week predicted that growth will slow notably from here.
For now, strong growth in the second quarter will keep the Federal Reserve on course to raise interest rates two more times this year. The Fed has increased borrowing costs in June for the second time this year and forecast two more rate hikes for 2018.
The GDP report showed the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding food and energy, increased at a 2.0 percent rate in the second quarter. The core PCE price index rose at a 2.2 percent pace in the January-March period.
Growth in consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased at a 4.0 percent rate in the second quarter, accelerating from the first quarter’s stall-speed pace of 0.5 percent.
Households bought motor vehicles and spent more on health care, utilities, food and accommodation in the last quarter.
Consumer spending is being driven by the lower taxes and a robust labor market, which created an average of 215,000 jobs per month in the first half of this year.
The front-loading of deliveries of soybeans and other goods boosted exports in the second quarter, which grew at their quickest pace in 4-1/2 years, sharply narrowing the trade deficit. Trade added 1.06 percentage points GDP growth in the second quarter after being neutral in the January-March period.
The rush to offload soybeans, however, depleted farm inventories. Inventories declined at a $27.9 billion rate after rising at $30.3 billion pace in the first quarter. They subtracted 1.0 percentage point from GDP growth.
Business spending on equipment slowed, rising at a 3.9 percent rate after the first quarter’s solid 8.5 percent rate. A further moderation is likely, with trade wars casting a pall on the business spending outlook. General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler on Wednesday cut their full-year profit forecasts, citing higher steel and aluminum costs.
Harley-Davidson Inc has warned that more expensive steel and aluminum and a 25 percent retaliatory duty imposed by the European Union on shipments from the United States could cost the motorcycle maker $45 million to $55 million this year.
Investment in homebuilding fell for a second straight quarter in part as an acute shortage of houses available for sale reduced brokers’ commissions.
Government spending grew at a 2.1 percent rate, boosted by defense outlays and quickening from the first-quarter’s 1.5 percent pace.