NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are skidding Friday while markets in Europe and Asia take hefty losses. Technology companies continued to tumble after a late plunge a day earlier. Health care companies are falling after some weak first-quarter reports.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 147 points, or 0.8 percent, to 17,684 as of 12:10 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 20 points, or 1 percent, to 2,056. The Nasdaq composite index lost 52 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,753. Losses over the last two days have wiped out the Dow and S&P 500’s gains from earlier this month. The Nasdaq is set to fall for the seventh day in a row.
TAKEN ILL: Health care companies fell after a bout of weak earnings reports. Biotech drugmaker Gilead Sciences said its results were hurt by big discounts and rebates on its costly hepatitis C medicines, and its stock lost $8.45, or 8.7 percent, to $88.55. Rival biotech giant Amgen reported relatively solid results, but fell $3.50, or 2.2 percent, to $157.06.
Health insurer Molina Healthcare slashed its full-year guidance because of higher medical care costs in Ohio and Texas, expenses related to recent acquisitions, and pharmacy costs, especially in Puerto Rico. It plunged $11.92, or 18.6 percent, to $52.30.
Molecular diagnostics company Cepheid shed $6.38, or 18 percent, to $29.02 as analysts were disappointed with its revenue projections for the second quarter.
CONSUMERS CAREFUL: Consumer spending edged 0.1 percent higher in March. Consumers spent more on clothing and less on long-lasting items like cars. Consumer spending has been weak this year, but employers keep hiring.
AMAZON STRONG: E-commerce giant Amazon rose $54, or 9 percent, to $655.88. The company said revenue jumped 28 percent in the first quarter, and the company turned a far bigger profit than analysts expected. Cloud-based Amazon Web Services performed well.
Despite the broad losses, consumer stocks were trading a bit higher on the strength of Amazon stock.
OVERSEAS: Stocks in Europe took big losses. Reports showed the economy of the eurozone rose a strong 0.6 percent in the first quarter, but investors were concerned that inflation slipped in April. France’s CAC 40 fell 3.1 percent and Germany’s DAX lost 3.2 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 1.1 percent.
Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. They plunged Thursday after the Bank of Japan held off on implementing any new economic stimulus measures. The yen tumbled, and that trend continued on Friday as the dollar fell to 106.90 yen from 108.09 yen. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.5 percent and Seoul’s Kospi gave up 0.3 percent.
TECH TURMOIL: Electronic storage company Seagate Technology lost $4.32, or 16.1 percent, to $22.58 after its profit fell short of estimates. Hard drive maker Western Digital dropped $6.36, or 13.8 percent, to $39.71. Apple, which is in a deep two-week slide, fell another $1.69, or 1.8 percent, to $93.13. The world’s most valuable public company is close to its lowest price of the year.
BOOKED: Online travel company Expedia reported a bigger adjusted profit and greater sales than expected. Its stock added $8.04, or 7.5 percent, to $115.03.
CHANNEL CHANGER: Digital TV listing company Rovi will buy digital video recording company TiVo for about $1.1 billion in cash and stock. TiVo stock gained 45 cents, or 4.7 percent, to $9.87 and Rovi slipped 53 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $16.82.
NO DEAL: Groupon sank 55 cents, or 12.5 percent, to $3.88. The daily deals site reported strong results but left its guidance unchanged.
DRINK UP: Monster Beverage gained $15.41, or 12.1 percent, to $143.25. The energy drink company’s results surpassed analyst estimates. Monster Beverage also said it will buy back $2 billion of its own stock.
METALS: Metals prices continued to rise. Gold advanced $26.90, or 2.1 percent, to $1,293.30 an ounce and silver rose 34 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $17.90 an ounce. Gold is trading at 15-month highs.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 33 cents to $45.70 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slid 57 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $47.20 a barrel in London.
BONDS, CURRENCY: Bond prices barely budged. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note held steady at 1.83 percent. The euro rose to $1.1437 from $1.1351.