US stocks fall from records ahead of tech giant earnings

A board displays the closing numbers after the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on Jan 11, 2018 in New York. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks retreated from records on Monday (Jan 29) ahead of a heavy stretch of corporate earnings reports this week, including those from Apple, Facebook and other tech giants.

After a wave of stock market records in the first month of 2018, investors are nervous that stocks "may be priced for perfection" heading into the busiest stretch of earnings season, said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.7 per cent to 26,439.48, ending a streak of three straight records.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.7 per cent to 2,853.53, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.5 per cent to 7,466.51.

This week's calendar also includes President Donald Trump's State of the Union address, the US jobs report for January and a two-day Federal Reserve meeting that will update the market on the outlook for more interest rate increases.

Worries about aggressive moves by the Fed to tighten monetary policy are also weighing on stocks, Hogan said, citing rising US bond yields. Higher bond yields could attract funds from equities and elevated interest rates can crimp corporate investment.

Apple slid 2.1 per cent after a Nikkei news report that it was slashing production of the iPhone X due to weak demand. The report added to worries about Apple's earnings, which will be released on Thursday.

Other tech giants were mixed ahead of earnings later this week, with Facebook shedding 2.1 per cent, Amazon gaining 1.1 per cent and Google parent Alphabet flat.

Lockheed Martin rose 2.0 per cent after easily topping earnings estimates when one-time charges connected to US tax reform were excluded.

Dr Pepper Snapple surged 22.4 per cent after announcing it would be merged into Keurig Green Mountain to form a beverage giant with US$11 billion in annual sales.

Wynn Resorts continued to slide following a report last week of alleged sexual misconduct by chief executive Steve Wynn.

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