US stocks close lower as tech shares give up gains - RTHK
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US stocks close lower as tech shares give up gains

2021-05-01 HKT 04:22
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  • A day after the S&P 500 closed at a record high, Apple, Google-parent Alphabet and Facebook each gave back gains. Photo: Shutterstock
    A day after the S&P 500 closed at a record high, Apple, Google-parent Alphabet and Facebook each gave back gains. Photo: Shutterstock
Wall Street ended lower on Friday, with Apple, Alphabet and other tech-related companies weighing on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq despite recent strong quarterly earnings reports.

A day after the S&P 500 closed at a record high, Apple, Google-parent Alphabet and Facebook each gave back gains following upbeat quarterly reports this week.

Amazon.com was almost unchanged after it posted record profit late on Thursday and signalled that consumers would keep spending in a growing US economy. Amazon had been up more than 2 percent earlier in the session.

Twitter plunged after it offered a tepid revenue forecast for the second quarter, saying user growth could slow as the boost seen during the pandemic fizzles.

While megacap favourites posted largely strong earnings in the first quarter, their shares have struggled to maintain the upward trajectory that many had coming into reporting season.

"There is a sense that maybe next quarter is as good as it's going to get, and we're going to roll over, particularly among the Nasdaq stocks and Big Tech stocks that benefited from the pandemic," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors in Palm Beach, Florida.

Most of the 11 major S&P 500 sector indexes fell, with technology, materials and energy among the deepest decliners.

Of the 303 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported so far, 87 percent have topped analysts' earnings estimates, with Refinitiv IBES data now predicting a 46 percent jump in profit growth.

Data on Friday showed US consumer spending rebounded in March amid a surge in income as households received additional Covid-19 pandemic relief money from the government.

Despite Friday's weakness, the Nasdaq completed its sixth consecutive month of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has now shown monthly gains for the past three months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.54 percent to end at 33,875 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.72 percent to 4,181.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.85 percent, to 13,963.

Chevron Corp dropped after its first-quarter profit fell 29 percent, hit by weaker refining margins and production losses.

AbbVie Inc rose after it reported strong results and raised its 2021 earnings forecast, helped by demand for its rheumatoid arthritis drug in the United States. (Reuters)