Midday Update: Bears Back in Control as Amazon Earnings Miss, Trouble in Ukraine Erode Week's Gains
Stocks were taking on heavy losses Friday, weighed down by missed earnings from Amazon ( AMZN ) and Ford ( F ) as well as turmoil in Ukraine, erasing all of their hard-won gains from earlier this week. And with Treasury yields falling as risk-adverse investors snap up government bonds in a safe-haven bid, utility stocks are outperforming more volatile sectors such as consumer and technology stocks.
Microsoft ( MSFT ) late yesterday reported a drop in Q1 profits, but revenue met expectations and the software giant today finalized its multi-billion dollar deal with Nokia ( NOK ), keeping it one of the few gainers among companies in the Dow Jones Industrials Average.
Today's economic data had little influence on an already defensive market. The purchasing managers index for the services industry fell to a 54.2 reading during April from 55.5 the month prior and missing estimates for a gain to 56.2.
Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan found that consumer sentiment improved in April as their index notched up to 84.1 from the initial read of 82.6, and higher than 80.0 in March. The Street was forecasting a minimal decline to 82.5.
Europe made a concerted attempt to recover off its worse levels of the session with the bounce triggered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin of the potential for more economic sanctions as result of Russian actions in Ukraine. But the rebound fell short of erasing today's losses across the continent and the German Dax taking the brunt of selling pressure.
Crude oil was down $1.13 to $100.81 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.05 to $4.70 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $11.10 to $1,301.70 an ounce, while silver was down $0.42 to $36.63 an ounce. Copper is unchanged at $3.09 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 1.11% to $36.64 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 0.84% to $25.87. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 1.00% to 24.18 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.67% to $124.50. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.08% to $18.93.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index down 54.01 (-0.51%) to 10,521.90
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 108.12 (-0.66%) to 16,393.53
S&P 500 down 10.96 (-0.58%) to 1,867.65
Nasdaq Composite Index down 55.11 (-1.33%) to 4,093.22
Nikkei 225 Index up 0.17%
Hang Seng Index down 1.50%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 1.00%
FTSE 100 Index down 0.26%
CAC 40 down 0.80%
DAX down 1.54%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index down 0.25%
NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.78%
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.10%
(+) WFT (+10.1%) Reported better-then-expected Q1 earnings, Q2 guidance above street estimates.
(+) UHS (+6.1%) Reported above-consensus earnings although revenue missed Street estimates.
(+) CLH (+5.5%) Relational Investors reports 9% stake, urging the company focus on its waste business, share buybacks and asset sales.
(-) CYTK (-61.7%) ALS drug trial fails to reach study endpoint.
(-) YGE (-14.7%) Prices follow-on offering of 25 million ADS at discounted $3.50
(-) CVLT (-29.35%) Reported mixed Q1 results