U.S. stock indexes veered lower in afternoon trading Thursday as disappointing earnings from Microsoft, Google parent Alphabet and other big companies put investors in a selling mood. Technology sector companies were down sharply, offsetting gains in energy companies as the price of oil rebounded.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 40 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,942 as of 1:20 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slid seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,083. The Nasdaq composite index lost 60 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,884.
THE QUOTE: Absent major economic data, investors are riding the ups and downs of earnings this week, although the market swings haven’t been as volatile as earlier this year, said Tom Siomades, head of Hartford Funds Investment Consulting Group.
“These mixed earnings that we’ve been getting … these mini rallies and mini sell-offs that are part of it,” said Siomades.
TECH SLUMP: Several technology companies were down after reporting disappointing quarterly results. Microsoft was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500. It lost $4.04, or 7.2 percent, to $51.73. Alphabet fell $47.31, or 6.1 percent, to $732.57. Overall, the technology sector was off 2.3 percent.
TURBULENT FLIGHT: American Airlines Group slid 4.5 percent after the company said weaker fares and labor costs cut into its revenue in the first quarter. The stock shed $1.78 to $38.23.
DIMMER OUTLOOK: Visa fell 2.5 percent after the payments processor cut its revenue forecast for the year. The stock shed $2.03 to $78.76.
JAVA JITTERS: Starbucks dropped 5.8 percent after the coffee chain reported disappointing sales growth for the first three months of the year. The stock lost $3.49 at $57.15.
ENERGY SECTOR: Oil and gas companies benefited from a pickup in energy prices. Southwestern Energy vaulted $1.18, or 11.1 percent, to $11.85, while Range Resources jumped $2.16, or 5.8 percent, at $39.33. Chesapeake Energy climbed 29 cents, or 4.7 percent, to $6.48.
GAINING STEAM: Norfolk Southern jumped 10.2 percent after the railroad operator slashed costs during its latest quarter. The stock rose $8.39 to $91.02.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major stock indexes in Europe mostly fell. Germany’s DAX fell 0.6 percent, while France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.3 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 1.1 percent. Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.7 percent. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.2 percent. Seoul’s Kospi slid 0.3 percent and Sydney’s S&P ASX 200 lost 0.7 percent.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 53 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $43.71 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 35 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $44.88 a barrel in London.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.88 percent from 1.86 late Thursday. In currency markets, the dollar gained to 111.66 yen from Thursday’s 109.53 yen. The euro fell to $1.1221 from $1.1295.