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Stock Market Today: Dow closes lower as tech wreck continues amid Meta slump

Published 10/26/2023, 04:03 PM
© Reuters.
- -- The Dow closed lower Thursday, pressured by a Meta-led slump in tech as concerns about slowing advertising growth offset better-than-expected quarterly results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8% or 251 points, and the S&P 500 fell 1.2%, the Nasdaq fell 1.8%.

Meta leads tech lower after downbeat outlook on advertising demand

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) fell more than 3% after it flagged weaker advertising demand seen in the fourth quarter so far. Concerns about slowing growth overshadowed Q3 results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines amid cost-cutting measures that boosted margin.

The social media giant attributed some of the weakness to the Israel-Hamas conflict that has impacted ad-spending in the Middle East.

“[W]e have observed softer ad spend in the beginning of the fourth quarter, correlating with the start of the conflict, which is captured in our Q4 revenue outlook,” the company said in its Q3 earnings call following the quarterly results on Wednesday.

Other stocks including Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Pinterest Inc (NYSE:PINS) that also rely on advertising revenue were sharply lower.

IBM rallies on Q3 earnings beat, sidesteps tech slump

International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) jumped more than 5% after its Q3 results topped Wall Street estimates, underpinned by ongoing growth in its software segment as the technology company's investment into artificial intelligence appears to bearing fruit. 

Revenue grew 6.3% reflecting "the demand for hybrid cloud and AI services," Wedbush said in a note.

UPS falls to 52-week low as guidance disappoints; Hasbro hammered on earnings miss

United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) fell more than 5% after the shipping company trimmed its guidance following mixed third-quarter results as revenue fell short of estimates.

The company said now expects full-year 2023 consolidated revenue of $91.3B to $92.3B, down from a prior estimate of $93B, as unfavorable macro-economic conditions weigh on demand.

Hasbro Inc (NASDAQ:HAS), meanwhile, reported third-quarter results that missed analyst expectations and the toy maker lowered its annual revenue guidance ahead of the key holiday quarter, sending its shares more than 11% lower.

“The outlook incorporates the impact of the broader Toy category declines, which is impacting the Consumer Product Segment,” Hasbro said.

Treasury yields slip as signs of easing inflation offsets strong Q3 economic growth

Treasury yields fell as signs that inflation eased more than expected in the third quarter overshadowed stronger-than-expected preliminary data showing the U.S. economy grew at its fastest quarterly pace since 2021.

U.S. Treasury yields fell after the data because “markets placed greater emphasis upon a small miss by core PCE inflation and ignored a beat by Q3 GDP alongside impressive details,” Scotiabank Economics said in a note.

The slew data come ahead of the core price consumer expenditure index data due Friday that is expected show inflation in the 12 months through September slowed to a 3.7% pace from 3.9% the prior month. 

“We expect the Fed to recognize recent strength in economic activity but, with tightening financial conditions, to soften guidance about the need for additional tightening. Chair Powell's recent speech set the tone,” Morgan Stanley, forecasting the Fed to remain on an “extended hold” on rates through 2024.

Southwest, Spirit Airlines slip as pent-up travel demand wanes

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) posted mixed third-quarter results as revenue missed Wall Street estimates and the airline said it planned to decrease future capacity as pent-up travel demand wanes.

Spirit Airlines Inc (NYSE:SAVE) were also lower, with the latter coming under pressure after flagging a “disappointing outcome” in Q3 amid softer travel demand.

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