Tech slide un­der­scores unease

The Washington Post Sunday - - MARKETS -

Bet­ter earn­ings equals higher share prices, or so goes the cus­tom­ary think­ing. For tech­nol­ogy stocks dur­ing this re­port­ing sea­son, it’s the ex­act op­po­site.

Com­pa­nies from Al­pha­bet to Mi­crosoft an­nounced quar­terly re­sults that beat an­a­lyst es­ti­mates by a com­bined 7.7 per­cent, more than any other in­dus­try group in the Stan­dard & Poor’s 500-stock in­dex. Yet their stocks posted the worst first-day re­ac­tion, fall­ing an av­er­age 1.8 per­cent.

As tech mega­caps from Face­book to Ama­zon.com and Google par­ent Al­pha­bet re­ported earn­ings, the Nas­daq 100 in­dex ended a three-week streak of gains. The gauge fin­ished the five-day pe­riod with a 0.2 per­cent loss and dropped 0.7 per­cent from a record­high Edi­tor’s note: Our weekly com­pos­ite stock list­ing in­cludes com­pa­nies based in Wash­ing­ton or with a strong pres­ence here. The rest of the ta­ble shows firms as ranked by mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion. And we’ve added year-to-date data be­cause read­ers told us it would be use­ful. Wed­nes­day.

“Look at some of the busi­nesses, whether it’s Ap­ple or Google, their rev­enue and profit growth is stag­ger­ing,” said Mar­shall Front, who man­ages $800 mil­lion at Front Bar­nett As­so­ciates. “But over-con­cen­tra­tion can lead to too much volatil­ity on the down­side.”

The S&P 500 slipped less than 0.1 per­cent over the five days. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age gained 1.2 per­cent as Boe­ing, Ver­i­zon and Cater­pil­lar saw ro­bust re­sults.

The trea­sury will sell $39 bil­lion in three­month bills and $33 bil­lion in six-month bills Mon­day. They yielded 1.09 per­cent and 1.13 per­cent in when-is­sued trad­ing. It also will sell four-week bills Tues­day.

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