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Stocks slip as first big week of earnings heads to a finish

Technology companies led a slide in stocks on Wall Street Friday afternoon as investors weighed a mix of company earnings reports. The selling erased some of the market's gains from a day earlier. Still, the S&P 500 was on track to end a choppy week of trading with its second straight weekly gain.

Chipmakers helped pull shares lower in the technology sector. Micron Technology dropped 4.2% and Nvidia fell 2%. Communication services stocks also accounted for a big slice of the selling. Facebook dropped 2.3% and Netflix lost 5.9%.

Boeing led industrial sector stocks following news that the aircraft manufacturer waited months to disclose troubling internal communications between two of its employees about the company's now-grounded 737 Max jet. Boeing lost 4.8%.

Financial companies were the biggest gainers, with State Street leading the way after the bank reported third-quarter results that beat Wall Street's forecasts. State Street rose 5.2%. Other stocks rose following solid earnings reports. ETrade Financial climbed 5.3% after reporting surprisingly good third-quarter profit. Oilfield services company Schlumberger rose 1.5% and lifted energy stocks.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index was down 0.2% as of 1:50 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 155 points, or 0.6%, to 26,870. The Nasdaq lost 0.7%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks fell 0.5%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 1.75%. WINNING WEEK: The market has been choppy all week as investors shift their focus to the latest round of corporate earnings. Stocks are still higher for the week thanks to a big gain on Tuesday, when several major banks released impressive results, including JPMorgan Chase.

The S&P 500 is on track for a 0.7% gain this week following last week's 0.6% rise. Smaller stocks are once again set to outpace the broader market in a sign that investors are growing more confident. The Russell 2000 is on track for a 1.5% gain this week after rising 0.8% last week.

EARNINGS: Investors mostly applauded the opening round of company earnings this week and temporarily brushed aside worries over the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. Health insurer UnitedHealth Group reported solid earnings, as did Netflix.

The early round of mostly good results could help calm investors' fears about another dismal forecast for earnings growth. Analysts expect profit to contract by nearly 5% for companies within the S&P 500, according to FactSet. But, forecasts for declines in the first and second quarters were tempered as reporting progressed and companies finished those earnings seasons with tiny contractions instead.

SATISFYING SODA: Coca-Cola rose 2.1% after the company edged out Wall Street's third-quarter revenue forecasts on improved sales of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and other drinks. RECALLED POWDER: Johnson & Johnson fell 5.3% after the company said it is recalling a single lot of its baby powder because a test found trace amounts of asbestos in one bottle.

The recall comes as J&J fights thousands of lawsuits in which plaintiffs claim its iconic baby powder was contaminated with asbestos and that it caused ovarian cancer or another rare cancer. OVERSEAS: Stock indexes in Europe were broadly lower ahead of a weekend vote by Britain's Parliament on the latest proposed deal covering its exit from the European Union. Britain is set to leave the trading block on Oct. 31.

Markets in Asia finished lower as new data indicated that growth in China sank to a 26-year low in the latest quarter. The world's second-largest economy is dealing with a slowdown in consumer demand and economic growth brought on partly by the damaging trade war with the U.S.

AP Business Writer Damian J. Troise contributed.

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