US stocks flat ahead of jobs report; Twitter sinks 20 per cent

A banner with the logo of Twitter on the front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.
A banner with the logo of Twitter on the front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks treaded water Thursday (Oct 6) ahead of a key US jobs report while Twitter plunged on reports of fading interest from potential acquirers and Wal-Mart stumbled on a weak forecast.

Twitter plunged 20.1 per cent after technology news site Recode reported that Google, Apple and Disney either decided not to bid for Twitter, or viewed an offer as highly unlikely.

Dow member Wal-Mart Stores lost 3.2 per cent after it projected that fiscal 2018 earnings would be flat while it boosts investment in e-commerce.

Analysts said the broader market was in wait-and-see mode ahead of Friday's US jobs report. Analysts have projected the economy added 176,000 jobs last month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.1 per cent at 18,268.50.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent at 2,160.77, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.2 per cent to 5,306.85.

Among Dow components, Apple rose 0.9 per cent, DuPont 1.4 per cent and Home Depot 1.9 per cent.

But American Express, another company in the blue-chip index, sank 3.8 per cent after Nomura dealt it a downgrade, saying it expects Amex to lose more market share through at least 2017 as it faces stiffening competition.

Mylan tumbled 3.1 per cent after it was accused by two lawmakers of overcharging the government for its Epipen allergy medication.

Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Frank Pallone, both Democrats, released a letter from the federal health program saying Mylan misclassified Epipens as a generic drug, resulting in higher cost to the government under the federal Medicaid and Medicare programs.