Dow Jones Industrial Average Falls 140 Points as Tech Sector Gives Up Gains

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 141 points in pre-market trading as tech stocks continued to weigh on investor sentiment. A brutal earnings report for one of the industry’s top chipmakers has complemented a difficult PR battle for the world’s top social media company (more below).

 The carnage from Nvidia Corp.‘s (NASDAQ: NVDA) weak earnings has spread to other chipmakers’ stocks and hit Asian markets hard this morning. Shares of Nintendo Ltd. (OTC MKTS: NTDOY) are off nearly 10% this morning.

Here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 25,289.27 208.77 0.83%
S&P 500 2,730.20 28.62   1.06%
Nasdaq 7,259.03 122.64 1.72%

Now, here’s a closer look at today’s Money Morning insight, the most important market events, and stocks to watch.

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The Top Stock Market Stories for Friday

  • Here we go again. The British pound is sliding as UK Prime Minister Theresa May struggles to keep a deal to leave the European Union from sinking. A series of high-profile resignations this week have investors concerned that May’s deal could fail to pass through the British Parliament. That failure would kick-start a process where Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal in place. Such a “hard Brexit” would immediately create a trade crisis for the country and hammer its already weakened currency.
  • Natural gas prices hit four-year highs as a massive winter storm continues to spread across the Northeast. Roughly 300,000 people are still without power, and icy weather has made driving extremely dangerous.

 Three Stocks to Watch Today: PCG, NVDA, FB

  • Shares of PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG) jumped 48% despite concerns that the company may be responsible for the Camp Fire that has spread across Northern California. The utility giant’s stock had been off more than 50% in a week. The company said this week that if regulators and investigators deem PG&E responsible for the fire, the financial costs will exceed the amount of insurance and could sink the company. Although no official cause has been named, the state’s utility commission has discussed an “electric incident report” that registered just before the start of the fire on Nov. 8.
  • Shares of Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) plunged 17% after the firm released a weaker-than-expected earnings report on Thursday. The chipmaker is facing a slump thanks to stagnant demand from cryptocurrency miners. Bitcoin prices are off roughly 50% this year, reducing the incentive for miners to harvest the coin. As a result of stagnant demand, Nvidia is facing a significant volume of unpurchased inventory. “The crypto hangover lasted longer than we expected,” Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said on Thursday’s investor conference call.
  • Shares of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) are in focus thanks to a New York Times investigation into the company’s handling of Russian interference during the 2016 election and its competitive intelligence practices. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has mounted a defensive battle against both elements of the story. The social media giant had reportedly hired a D.C.-based public relations firm to find information on its critics and tech rivals. A series of articles bashing these critics found their way onto conservative opinion sites that were linked to the firm, Definers Public Affairs. Zuckerberg claims he didn’t know that his firm had worked with the PR company until after reading the NYT article.
  • Today, look for earnings reports from Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE: HP) and Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB).

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