Wednesday’s decline added to what has already been a brutal October for Wall Street. The Dow has lost 7.1 percent this month and is on track for its biggest monthly loss since May 2010. The S&P 500 is down 8.9 percent in October and is headed for its biggest one-month decline since February 2009. The Nasdaq has shed 11.7 percent and is on pace for its worst monthly performance since October 2008.
Then came the earnings reports after the closing bell.
Advanced Micro Devices shares plummeted over 25 percent in after hours trading after the company gave weak revenue projections for the remainder of the year. Southwest stock tumbled after the airline warned shareholders that its costs are rising. Shares of pharmaceutical giant Merck slipped after the company’s latest quarterly revenue was weaker than expected according to analysts surveyed by FactSet.
A few tech companies helped the market regain its footing overnight. Microsoft shares rose as much as 4 percent after hours, as the tech bellwether beat expectationson both the top and bottom lines. Tesla shares rose 5 percent on the day after the automaker reported a surprise profit for its third-quarter earnings. Twitter stock also popped, with the company reporting strong quarterly earnings results despite a purge of bots and other accounts on its platform.
Ford shares jumped as well, as the automaker delivered better-than-expected earnings with strong sales of trucks in North America. Despite mixed results, Visa shares also rose.
Only two S&P 500 sectors are up this month: consumer staples, up 1 percent, and utilities, up 3 percent. The group of core American brands is on pace for the fifth straight month of gains. What concerns investors is the timing: Consumer staples is enjoying its longest winning streak since November 2009.
An investors shift to consumer staples is considered a defensive sign for stocks, which are on their longest bull run in history. However, analysts say consumer staples needs to gain more compared to other sectors, such as tech stocks, before being considered a signal of risk.
contributed to this report.
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