November 24, 2020

US stocks cap off worst week since March as mega-cap tech outlook disappoints traders

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  • US stocks sold off on Friday after mega-cap tech earnings results didn’t satisfy investor demand for future growth.
  • Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook reported quarterly earnings on Thursday that mostly beat estimates, but tepid and uncertain growth outlooks sent technology stocks tumbling. 
  • On top of that, the US hit an all-time high in daily COVID-19 cases on Thursday, reporting about 90,000 new cases.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US stocks finished the day lower on Friday as investors digested quarterly earnings reports from the mega-cap tech companies Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple.

While all four tech companies beat earnings estimates, tepid and uncertain growth outlooks sent Amazon, Apple, and Facebook down considerably. Only Alphabet traded higher on Friday. 

On top of that, COVID-19 is still top of mind for investors – the US hit an all-time high in daily cases on Thursday, reporting about 90,000 new cases, according to The New York Times.

The S&P 500 slipped 6%, while the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 6.5% over the five-day period. Both marked the indexes’ worst weekly declines since the height of the pandemic in March.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Friday:

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In earnings land, Alphabet’s third-quarter report easily surpassed analysts’ estimates, and shares surged as much as 8%. Twitter slumped after its earnings report revealed a significant drop in daily active users.

Apple beat estimates, but a big iPhone revenue miss and no forward looking guidance sent shares lower. Amazon’s beat of earnings estimates was sizable, but a lower than expected Q4 profit outlook led to shares selling off. Facebook sold off as much as 7% after its earnings report revealed a decline in US users.

Here’s what Wall Street analysts had to say about Apple’s, Amazon’s, and Alphabet’s earnings reports. 

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Ant Group’s highly anticipated initial public offering, set to be the biggest ever, attracted $3 trillion in retail bids for its soon-to-be-listed shares.

Gold traded higher on Friday, rising as much as 1.2%, to $1,889.81 per ounce.

Oil prices fell. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 2.7%, to $35.21 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, slipped 2.3%, to $36.80 per barrel, at intraday lows.

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