US stocks have taken big hits recently, and continue to retreat Thursday due to weak quarterly reports primarily from the financial and technology sectors. Gold has slightly recovered over its tremendous losses the past couple of days, going from 1600 to the 1300′s range.
Morgan Stanley’s (MS, Fortune 500) reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue, but weakness in traditional trading revenue pushed shares down 4%. Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), which tumbled nearly 5% Wednesday after missing first-quarter earnings estimates, sank another 3% Thursday, making it the biggest loser on the Dow.
On the tech front, Nokia’s (NOK) stock price dropped 12% after the Finnish cell phone company reported a 20% drop in quarterly sales.
eBay (EBAY, Fortune 500) shares were the biggest drag on the Nasdaq, falling 4% after the online-auction site issued weak second-quarter guidance. And while SanDisk (SNDK, Fortune 500) reported better-than-expected earnings and sales for the first-quarter, shares of the company also declined 3%.
Apple’s (AAPL, Fortune 500) shares remained under pressure a day after its stock fell nearly 6%. Shares fell to $395.27, the lowest since November 2011. Apple was most recently hampered by a negative sales forecast from iPhone supplier Cirrus Logic (CRUS).
Techs will remain in focus, as IBM (IBM, Fortune 500), Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) and Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) are all scheduled to report earnings after the close.
While technology stocks were largely weighing on the broader market, Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) was bucking the trend. Shares of the company jumped more than 3% after it beat earnings forecasts.
Also on the bright side, PepsiCo (PEP, Fortune 500) shares climbed 5% on better-than-expected quarterly earnings.
Shares of Carnival Corp.’s (CCL) rose after the cruise ship company said it planned to invest more than $600 million into fixing its disaster-prone toilets.
In economic news, the government said initial jobless claims increased by 4,000 to 352,000 in the week ended April 13. That was slightly below forecasts.
European markets rose in afternoon trading, as the German parliament reportedly backed a €10 billion bailout for Cyprus.
Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite added 0.2%, while the Hang Seng declined 0.4% and the Nikkei lost 1.2%.
The dollar fell against the euro and the pound, but edged higher versus the Japanese yen.
Oil and gold prices edged higher.
The price on the 10-year Treasury rose, pushing the yield down to 1.69% from 1.70% late Wednesday.