Stocks - S&P 500 Closes Lower as Tech Wreck Weighs

Jul 30, 2018

The S&P 500 closed lower Monday as a tumble in Facebook and Twitter triggered a wider selloff in the tech sector, offsetting gains in telecoms and energy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell about 0.57%. The S&P 500 fell 0.58%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell about 1.39%.

The fallout from both Facebook's and Twitter's disappointing earnings last week continued to weigh on risk sentiment as investors fled tech stocks.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock closed 2.2% lower, while Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) stock tumbled more than 8%. Plunges in both Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock exacerbated downside momentum in the broader market.

Mixed second-quarter earnings from some notable corporate heavyweights did little to lift sentiment on equities. Yet the trend of strong second-quarter earnings remained intact, data from FactSet showed.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) stock fell despite delivering above-forecast second-quarter results and raising its full-year outlook. Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX) stock closed lower after topping earnings and revenue estimates, while First Data (NYSE:FDC) stock closed higher as quarterly profit beat consensus.

As of Friday, 83% of the companies in the S&P 500 that had reported results posted stronger-than-expected earnings and 73% beat estimates on revenue, according to FactSet.

The decline in tech stocks and mixed earnings offset gains in telecoms and energy as the latter was supported by rising oil prices on investor concerns over global crude supplies.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for September delivery gained 2.13% to settle at $70.13 a barrel. Crude prices eased modestly after settlement, however, as U.S. President Donald Trump said he would be prepared to meet with Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at "any time," without restrictions.

In other the corporate news, American Express (NYSE:AXP) came under pressure following a Wall Street Journal report that the company’s foreign exchange department increased currency conversion rates without informing customers.

CBS (NYSE:CBS) stock extended its slump from Friday as some board members reportedly considered whether CEO Les Moonves should step down as the New Yorker reported late Friday that six women have said that he had sexually harassed them.

In economic news, the National Association of Realtors’ pending home sales measure rose 0.9% to 106.9 in June, ending two consecutive months of declines, but contract signings fell 2.5% year over year.

The mixed housing data come ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's rate decision due Wednesday, which analysts expect will likely be "non-event."

"Wednesday's FOMC meeting is going to be a non-event as the Committee is not expected to raise rates or alter the balance sheet normalization schedule next week, though there's a risk of a change in language contained within the statement," BMO said last week.

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN), Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE:AMG) and Invesco (NYSE:IVZ) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO) and Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.