Stocks fall in midday trading as investors turn cautious
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks turned broadly lower in midday trading Thursday as investorsbecame more cautious following a record-setting day for major indexes.
The virus outbreak originating in China remains a lingering concern as more companiessay they'll be affected. The world’s biggest shipper, A.P. Moller Maersk, expects a profit hit in 2020. Air France also expects earnings to suffer and Australia’s Qantas is slashing flights to Asia.
Technology and health care companies led the losses. Microsoft slipped 2.3% and UnitedHealth Group fell 1.8%.
Bond prices rose sharply as investors sought safety, sending yields lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.51% from 1.57%.
Energy companies held up better than most of the market as crude oil prices rose 1%. Real estate companies also held up well.
E-Trade soared after agreeing to be acquired by Morgan Stanley.
KEEPING SCORE:The S&P 500 index fell 0.9% as of 11:41 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 304 points, or 1%, to 29,051. Nasdaq fell 1.3%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks fell 0.6%.
OVERSEAS: Markets in Asia were mixed. The Shanghai benchmarkjumped1.8% after China’s central bank cut interest rates to help ease credit for companies hurt by the virus outbreak. European marketsmostly fell.
RICH CRUST: Domino's Pizza jumped 23.5% after the company delivered better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and surprisingly good sales. The company handily beat a key sales measure as it faces increasing competition from food delivery companies like DoorDash. .
BIG DEAL: E-Trade surged 24.7% after Morgan Stanley said it will buy the online brokerage firm for $13 billion, one of the biggest deals on Wall Street since the financial crisis. Morgan Stanley fell 3.3%. The deal comes less than a year after a vicious fight for customers resulted in discount brokers like E-Trade slashing or eliminating fees. Rival Charles Schwab is in the process of buying TD Ameritrade.
EARNINGS: Investors continued digesting a steady flow of corporate earnings. Zillow Group jumped 19.9% and Avis Budget Group also soared 19.2%after reportingsolid financial results. Online postage provider Stamps.com surged 56.5% after blowing away analysts’ forecasts. ViacomCBS plunged 16.9% and Boston Beer slid 6.6% after reporting disappointing results.