After losses late in the day, the Dow closed down 189.67 points, finishing out at 17,197.54. NASDAQ dropped to 4,637.99, a loss of 43.51 points, while the S&P 500 lost 27.39 points to finish at 2,002.16. World markets were mixed, with gains for the UK’s FTSE of 0.21% and losses in China’s Shanghai Composite Index of -1.41%.
Apple Up Yet Again. Market losses came despite a strong day in the technology sector, including a strong performance by Apple (AAPL) due to an after-hours announcement yesterday of record-breaking Q1 net profits. The company announced that it netted $18bn in profits this quarter, driving the stock up 5.66% today to 115.32. The strong quarter was fueled by widespread overseas adoption of the iPhone 6, with Apple increasing device sales by over 70% in mainland China compared to Q1 of last year.
Qualcomm Loses Samsung, Yahoo Alibaba Split. Other movement in tech included microprocessor manufacturer Qualcomm’s (QCOM) 1.07% loss, due in part to being passed over as the chip-maker for Samsung’s next version of their Galaxy S line of smartphones. Yahoo’s sudden split with overseas marketplace Alibaba sent both stocks falling, with Yahoo (YHOO) losing 3.23% to finish at 46.44 and Alibaba (BABA) dropping 4.63% to 98.45.
Earnings Talk. Game developer Electronic Arts finished the day up a very strong 12.81% to 54.61 after releasing an exceptionally strong Q1 earnings report. Other notable movement due to strong earnings reports included a 5.43% gain for Boeing Co. (BA), a 6.25% gain for Total Systems Services (TSS), and a 4.44% bump for TE Connectivity Ltd (TEL).
Energy Diving. Oil futures continued to fall to $44.45 per barrel, a monthly low, on news of increased supply. Falling light crude prices dragged a large segment of the energy sector lower, continuing the trend sparked by OPEC’s refusal to lower production. Natural gas futures also fell by 3.17%, piling on to American energy producers even further. Oil and gas driller Nabors Industries (NBR) plummeted 11.62%, Murphy Oil (MUR) lost 7.5%, and Denbury Resources Inc (DNR) dropped 9.73%.
Currency Flat. In currency trading, the dollar remained steady ahead of positive news from the Fed reportedly putting off an interest rate hike until June. The USD has gained ground versus the Euro and GBP as the strengthening US economy picks up steam. Gold and silver futures remained relatively even, with gold falling $5.80 per troy ounce and silver rising a scant $0.004.
All 10 sectors fell in today’s trading, with the hardest hit being energy, which lost 25.80 points and dropped the Dow Jones US Oil and Gas Index (DJUSEN) to 629.04 at the end of the day. The Dow Jones US Technology Index (DJUSTC) performed best, losing only 0.13% to close the day at 1,038.10.