Wall Street falls after Wal-Mart's weak forecast; Netflix down after the bell

Reuters | Updated on: Jan 22, 2018


US stocks fell on Wednesday as Wal-Mart Stores Inc skidded after issuing a weak profit forecast and as JPMorgan Chase & Co slipped on disappointing results.

The news added to worries about the outlook for US earnings, with Standard & Poor's 500 profits forecast to have dropped more than 4 per cent in the third quarter from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data.

After the market close, shares of Netfli x fell 2.4 per cent to $107.55 after the company reported US subscriber additions below its own forecast. The shares were down about 12 per cent shortly after the news.

Separately, grocery operator Albertsons postponed the pricing of its initial public offering amid weaker-than-expected demand from investors, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, while First Data Corp priced the year's biggest IPO at a discount.

During the regular session, Wal-Mart sank 10 per cent to $60.03 in its biggest one-day percentage decline in years and its heaviest trading day since January 2009, after it forecast a drop of up to 12 per cent in earnings per share in fiscal 2017.

The decline erased roughly $22 billion off the retailer's market value, and the stock was the biggest drag on both the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500.

Target Corp was down 3.5 per cent at $76.20, Sears Co Ltd fell 3.0 per cent to $24.41, while the S&P 500 retail index dropped 1.2 per cent.

Data showing US retail sales barely rose in September weighed on sector shares.

JPMorgan shares fell 2.5 per cent to $59.99 after the bank reported disappointing third-quarter results late on Tuesday.

"In these next three weeks in the earnings season, we're going to get some clear guidance not just on earnings for the third quarter but guidance for the fourth quarter and for next year. That's going to be crucial," said John Canally, investment strategist and economist for LPL Financial in Boston.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 157.14 points or 0.92 per cent to 16,924.75, the S&P 500 lost 9.45 points or 0.47 per cent to 1,994.24 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.76 points or 0.29 per cent to 4,782.85.

Wells Fargo & Co fell 0.7 per cent to $51.50, while Bank of America Corp rose 0.8 per cent to $15.64 both following results.

Among other big decliners, shares of Boeing Co dropped 4.3 per cent to $134.22. Delta Air Lines Inc's chief executive said he expects the market to be "ripe" for the carrier to buy used widebody planes over the next 12 to 36 months, as low interest rates have created a market bubble. Delta shares were up 1.8 per cent at $48.59.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,809 to 1,241, for a 1.46-to-1 ratio on the downside. On the Nasdaq, 1,759 issues fell and 1,005 advanced for a 1.75-to-1 ratio favouring decliners.

The S&P 500 posted seven new 52-week highs and five new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 21 new highs and 57 new lows.

About 6.9 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, compared with the 7.5 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Published on October 15, 2015
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