Los Angeles Times

Stocks sink again, fall back into the red for 2018

- Associated press

Stocks are back in the red for the year after another wave of selling hit Wall Street on Friday.

The decline capped an unusually turbulent week of trading that had one solid gain sandwiched between substantia­l losses.

A three-week slide has left the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index on track for its worst month since February 2009, which was right before the stock market hit bottom after the 2008 financial crisis.

Longtime market favorites such as Amazon led the way down Friday after reporting weak results. Technology and consumer-focused companies accounted for much of the sell-off. Media and communicat­ions companies, banks and healthcare firms also took heavy losses. Bond prices rose, sending yields lower, as investors sought out lessrisky assets.

The S&P 500 is down 9.3% from its September peak — just shy of what Wall Street calls a correction, a drop of 10% or more from a peak. The last S&P 500 correction was in February.

The stock market has whipsawed this week, with the Dow Jones industrial average slumping 500 points over the first two days of the week, dropping 608 points Wednesday, climbing 401 points Thursday and then sliding nearly 300 points Friday. The ups and downs came during the busiest week for third-quarter company earnings.

“Earlier in the year, the corporate earnings results were just a blowout, and now they’re more mixed,” said David Lefkowitz, senior equity strategist Americas at UBS Global Wealth Management. “That’s causing some of this volatility.”

The S&P 500 index slid 46.88 points, or 1.7%, to 2,658.69. The Dow fell 296.24 points, or 1.2%, to 24,688.31. The S&P 500 and Dow are now down for the year again.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite sank 151.12 points, or 2.1%, to 7,167.21. The Russell 2000 index of smallercom­pany stocks fell 16.58 points, or 1.1%, to 1,483.82.

Stock trading turned volatile in October after a placid summer, with big sell-offs in sectors that have powered the bulk of the gains during the market’s long bull run.

Disappoint­ing quarterly results and outlooks have exacerbate­d investors’ jitters about the growth prospects of corporate profits, a key driver of the stock market. Traders fear that rising interest rates and the U.S.China trade war could hurt the economy and dampen corporate earnings growth.

Amazon and Alphabet slumped after they reported quarterly reported revenue figures that fell short of analysts’ estimates. Amazon shares sank 7.8% to $1,642.81. Alphabet, Google’s parent, fell 1.8% to $1,083.75.

Snap skidded 10.2% to $6.28 after the company said its Snapchat app’s user base shrank for the second quarter in a row.

Mattel slid 2.8% to $13.45 after the toy maker’s quarterly results disappoint­ed.

Colgate-Palmolive sank 6.6% to $59.58 after the maker of consumer products posted less revenue in the latest quarter than analysts expected.

In a bright spot, chip maker Intel climbed 3.1% to $45.69 after it reported strong quarterly results and raised its outlook.

U.S. bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.08% from 3.13%.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 0.4% to settle at $67.59 a barrel. Brent crude rose 0.9% to $77.62 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline rose 0.1% to $1.82 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1.1% to $2.30 a gallon. Natural gas fell 0.5% to $3.19 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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