US Stocks Tumble on Feeble Industrial and Tech Earnings

Heading into the weekend, US stocks fell again, on the heels of investors continuing the sale of shares of technology and internet companies, as well as industrial firms and companies who rely heavily on consumer spending.  Looking back at the week, we can see that a handful of industrial companies tumbled a little, following the release of weak quarterly reports.  Similarly, European stocks fell, resulting from leaders in the European Union criticizing Italy’s spending plan.

At open of day, stocks already started to fall, posting minimal losses on the heels of prices falling and interest rates surging. These higher interest rates did not last, obviously.

Perhaps the biggest dip came from aircraft maker Textron, which fell 11.3 percent to $57.49 after investors saw the profit and sales report fell short of earlier analyst forecast.  Similarly, shares of tool and diagnostic equipment company Snap-on also fell 9.6 percent, to $151.47, also due to lower-than-expected revenue.  Even Amazon tumbled, though only slightly: down 3.3 percent to $1,770.62; but that also pulled other retailers down.  Apple also fell more than 2 percent, to $216.02.

Now, stocks have been slowly dropping over the past couple of weeks and it has become more apparent that investors are starting to worry about future economic growth.  Overall, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has already dipped 5.5 percent in volatile trading in just the last two weeks, with companies in the tech, industrial, and energy sectors posting the biggest losses. Of course, these companies also tend to perform better when the economy is growing at a faster pace, mostly because consumers and businesses alike have more liquidity.

All of this could lead to uncertainty around trading and growth, which could, in turn, pose a greater risk to corporate spending recovering.  As such, investors will likely continue to monitor company reports across the next couple of weeks to discern business forecasts and other potential plans.

Again, European leaders are also concerned about the Italian government’s recent proposal to increase spending and to widen the budget deficit.  Pierre Moscovici, budget chief for the European Union, remarked to Italy’s minister of economy that their new plan does not appear to help reduce Italy’s public debt to the agreed-upon levels of EU member countries.