Stocks Move Lower, Putting Market on Track for Weekly Loss

NEW YORK (AP) -
stocks
Traders  on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Stocks moved broadly lower on Wall Street Friday, as investors again retreated to safer holdings in a market racked by fear and anxiety over trade disputes.

This week has been especially turbulent as investors and central banks react to the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China. The lingering conflict looms large over the prospects for global economic growth and has been shaking markets with wild swings all week.

Major indexes started lower, and the losses accelerated later in the morning after President Donald Trump said it was “fine” if a meeting on trade with China next month doesn’t happen.

Technology stocks bore the brunt of the selling. DXC Technology plunged 32.5% after cutting its financial forecast for the year. It was the heaviest weight on the sector, but technology powerhouse Apple and several chipmakers also fared poorly.

Industrial and communications stocks also fell hard. General Electric shed 3.2% and TripAdvisor lost 2.9%.

Utilities held up the best and wobbled between small losses and gains. The sector is normally considered a safe place to park money if economic growth and other parts of the market look shaky.

Investors are also weighing some of the final earnings reports in what has been a better-than-expected round of results. The market dished out another mix of punishments and rewards. Uber slid on disappointing results and Callaway Golf rose on solid earnings.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 1.1% as of 11:40 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 241 points, or 0.8%, to 26,159. The Nasdaq composite fell 1.3%.

OVERSEAS: European indexes fell broadly. The British government reported that its economy shrank in the second quarter for the first time since 2012. Germany reported that exports fell in June. Stocks in Asia were mixed.

WILD WEEK: U.S. stocks opened the week by plunging to their worst loss of the year and then wobbled for several days before eventually recovering the week’s losses on Thursday. With the early losses on Friday, major U.S. indexes are now poised to finish a second straight week with losses.

The market’s wild ride started at the end of last week, when President Trump threatened to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods as negotiations once again faltered. China retaliated on Monday by allowing its currency to weaken against the U.S. dollar in a move that could give it a trade advantage.

Though China stabilized the yuan on Tuesday, several global central banks cut interest rates, raising a red flag for investors that signaled more concern about the trade war cutting into economic growth.

UBER’S ROUGH RIDE: Uber fell 7.1% after losing more money during the second quarter than Wall Street had expected. The company reported its largest quarterly loss on record in the same period it went public and made huge stock-based payouts. The company spent heavily on sales and marketing, including costly promotions designed to attract riders and drivers. The cost of price wars and retaining drivers while competing with rivals such as Lyft has been a strain on its ability to turn a profit.

BAD BATCH: Nektar Therapeutics plunged 34.6% after the company revealed that a cancer-treatment study was impacted by bad batches of an experimental drug. The company has since refined the manufacturing process for the drug candidate, which is involved in multiple cancer-treatment studies with partner Bristol-Myers Squibb.

ABOVE PAR: Callaway Golf rose 6.4% after raising its profit and sales forecast for the year following solid second-quarter profit and revenue. The company’s board of directors also approved a new stock-buyback program worth up to $100 million.