Indexes edge lower as weakness in tech offsets bank gains
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks edged lower in midday trading Friday as broad gains for banks were offset by sharp drops in technology companies.
A weak profit forecast and a sales warning brought on by the U.S.-China trade war sent chipmaker Micron Technology plunging, leading losses among the broader technology sector.
Communications stocks also fell. Facebook lost 1.2%.
Banks were among the few gainers as trading progressed, led by Wells Fargo after the troubled bank named a new CEO. JPMorgan and Bank of America also rose as bond yields edged higher.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.69% from 1.68% late Thursday.
The S&P 500 index is on track for its second straight weekly loss. Volatility from the ongoing U.S.-China trade conflict and soft economic data have been weighing on the market throughout the week. Meanwhile, investors are preparing for the close of the third quarter and an upcoming round of corporate earnings reports.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.2% as of 11:55 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 8 points to 26,882. The Nasdaq fell 0.6%.
OVERSEAS: Stocks in Europe moved higher, while Asian stocks mostly fell. The week is ending quietly following the end of the U.N. General Assembly and a lack of international economic news.
A Bank of England policy maker said interest rates might have to be cut even if Britain leaves the European Union on Oct. 31 with a deal on trade and other issues.
ROUGH WEEK: The market has been in a slump all week as investors pull back amid trade war worries, reports of sluggish economic growth and an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq bore the brunt of the selling and is on track for a 1.6% loss this week, while the S&P 500 is on headed for a 0.7% loss. It will market second straight weekly loss for both major indexes.
Smaller company stocks had a particularly rough week. The Russell 2000 index is headed for a 1.9% loss.
CHIP DIP: Micron Technology sank 9.3% after the chipmaker gave investors a weak profit forecast for the fiscal first quarter and warned that the trade war could hurt sales. The company gets more than half its revenue from China. Huawei, a prime target for U.S. sales restrictions, is a key customer.
MUSICAL CEOS: Wells Fargo rose 4.1% after it named its third CEO in as many years as the bank attempts to put a series of scandals behind it. Charles Scharf, currently CEO of Bank of New York Mellon, will take over from C. Allen Parker.
The company has been involved in a series of scandals since 2016 with the uncovering of millions of fake checking accounts its employees opened to meet sales quotas.
LIFTOFF: LATAM Airlines surged 31% after Delta Air Lines invested $1.9 billion in the airline, which focuses on Latin American routes. The investment gives Delta a 20% stake in the company.