Following the advance seen in the previous session, stocks have moved back to the downside in morning trading on Friday. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 are giving back ground after ending Thursday’s trading at record closing highs.
Currently, the major averages are off their worst levels but still in negative territory. The Dow is down 49.39 points or 0.1 percent at 35,681.09, the Nasdaq is down 80.98 points or 0.5 percent at 15,367.14 and the S&P 500 is down 16.72 points or 0.4 percent at 4,579.70.
The pullback on Wall Street reflects a negative reaction to quarterly results from tech giants Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN).
Shares of Apple are moving notably lower after the iPhone maker reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings that matched analyst estimates but weaker than expected sales amid supply chain issues.
Online retail giant Amazon is also seeing significant weakness after reporting much weaker than expected third quarter results.
Meanwhile, energy giants Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) have moved to the upside after reporting better than expected quarterly earnings.
Chevron is a Dow component and the advance by the company’s stock has helped limit the downside for the blue chip index.
Overall trading activity has remained somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting next week.
Following the two-day meeting, many economists expect the Fed to announce plans to begin scaling back its asset purchase program.
On the U.S. economic front, a report released by the Commerce Department showed personal income decreased by much more than expected in the month of September.
The Commerce Department said personal income slumped by 1.0 percent in September after inching up by 0.2 percent in August. Economists had expected personal income to edge down by 0.2 percent.
The bigger than expected drop in personal income primarily reflected a decrease in government social benefits, both in unemployment benefits and “other” benefits.
Meanwhile, the report showed personal spending climbed by 0.6 percent in September after jumping by an upwardly revised 1.0 percent in August.
Economists had expected personal spending to rise by 0.5 percent compared to the 0.8 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.
A separate report from the University of Michigan showed consumer sentiment in the U.S. deteriorated by slightly less than initially estimated in the month of October.
The report said the consumer sentiment index for October was upwardly revised to 71.7 from the preliminary reading of 71.4.
While the upward revision surprised economists, who expected the index to be unrevised, the final reading was still below September’s 72.8.
Oil service stocks are seeing significant weakness in morning trading, dragging the Philadelphia Oil Service Index down by 2.2 percent.
The weakness among oil service stocks comes amid a decrease by the price of crude oil, with crude for December delivery slumping $1.03 to $81.78 a barrel.
A steep drop by the price of gold is also contributing to considerable weakness among gold stocks, as reflected by the 1.9 percent decline by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index. Gold for December delivery is tumbling $24.40 to $1,778.20 an ounce.
Natural gas, retail and computer hardware stocks are also seeing notable weakness on the day, while most of the other major sectors are showing more modest moves.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid by 0.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 0.4 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have climbed back near the unchanged line after seeing early weakness. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 1.573 percent.
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