Tech Companies Lead Broad Slide in US Stocks

Technology companies were leading a broad slide in U.S. stocks in morning trading Thursday as investors pored over the latest batch of corporate earnings reports. Banks and retail chains were also among the big decliners. Simmering tensions between the U.S. and North Korea were also weighing on the market. Oil prices were headed higher.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 19 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,454 as of 11:15 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 105 points, or 0.5 percent, to 21,943. The Nasdaq composite lost 68 points, or 1.1 percent, to 6,284. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 14 points, or 1 percent, to 1,382.

SIMMERING TENSIONS: North Korea revealed on Thursday a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers. Japan and South Korea vowed a strong reaction if the North were to go through with the plan. The move added to escalating U.S.-North Korea tensions. The VIX, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, jumped 25.2 percent, the biggest increase since May.

TECH SLIDE: Losses among technology stocks led the market slide. Alliance Data Systems fell $6.22, or 2.7 percent, to $225.70. Advanced Micro Devices gave up 38 cents, or 3 percent, to $12.45.

FINANCIALS FALLING: Several financial sector companies also helped pull down the market. MetLife fell $1.38, or 2.9 percent, to $46.93, while Synchrony Financial slid $1.01, or 3.3 percent, to $29.24.

RETAIL SLUMP: Disappointing quarterly results from big department store chains put investors in a selling mood. Macy’s was down 8.9 percent after the company said its sales continued to decline in the second quarter. The stock fell $2.04 to $20.99. Dillard’s slumped 13.8 percent after the chain booked a loss for the second quarter as increased inventory led to big discounts. Its shares tumbled $10.14 to $63.20. Kohl’s also declined, sliding $3.08, or 7.3 percent, to $38.85.

UNDERCOOKED: Blue Apron slumped 12.2 percent after the meal kit seller reported a sequential decline in customers in the second quarter due to a planned reduction in marketing. The trend appeared to overshadow strong quarterly revenue growth in the quarter. The stock fell 76 cents to $5.48.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.22 percent from 2.25 percent late Wednesday.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 4 cents to $49.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added 39 cents to $49.56 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 10 cents to $52.80.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.35 yen from 109.85 late Wednesday. The euro fell to $1.1749 from $1.1752.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major indexes in Europe were headed lower. Germany’s DAX fell 1.2 percent, while the CAC 40 in France lost 0.7 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 sank 1.4 percent. Earlier in Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped less than 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 1.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.5 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged down nearly 0.1 percent.

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