Stocks fall slightly as banks drop; Intel propels tech
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell slightly in early trading Friday as a blowout earnings report from chipmaker Intel propelled technology shares higher and offset declines in health care and financial companies.
The technology sector was givenaaaa an additional boost from Broadcom, which landed a deal to supply wireless components to Apple.
Wall Street is still assessing the extent of the threat that a deadly new virus that originated in China poses to the global economy. Those fears continue to hang over global markets as health authorities worldwide take measures to contain and monitor the coronavirus outbreak.
Other than technology, sectors in the S&P 500 fell or were little changed.
Health care companies broadly slipped. Surgical robot maker Intuitive Surgical shed 3.9%.
Financial stocks also fared poorly. Discover Financial plunged 10.3%.
Oil prices slid and dragged down energy stocks. Concho Resources fell 2.8%.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.70% from 1.74% late Thursday.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.2% as of 10:45 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 33 points, or 0.1%, to 29,128. The Nasdaq fell less than 0.1%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks fell slightly.
OVERSEAS: European markets made solid gains, helped by a report that showed improvement in manufacturing activity. Germany’s DAX jumped 1.4% and the CAC 40 in France rose 1.1%
Markets were closed in Shanghai and the rest of mainland China, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan. Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged higher.
VIRUS STATUS: The coronavirus has been confirmed in five countries, including China, the U.S., Thailand, Japan and South Korea. More than 500 people have fallen sick and 26 have died from the illness, which can cause pneumonia and other severe respiratory symptoms. The World Health Organization has so far held off on declaring the situation a global emergency, which would bring more money and resources to fight it, but could trigger economically damaging restrictions on trade and travel.
CHIPS LEAD THE WAY: Intel surged 7.6% after the chipmaker blew past Wall Street’s fourth-quarter profit forecasts. The company cited demand for cloud-computing as the key reason for the solid financial results.
The company gave investors an upbeat forecast for the first quarter, which helped inject confidence into the broader market for chips. Nvidia rose 1.2% and Advanced Micro Devices rose 1.4%.
BITING INTO APPLE: Broadcom jumped 2.7% after signing supply deals with Apple that could bring in up to $15 billion in revenue. The chipmaker said it will supply wireless components to the iPhone maker.