(Reuters) – Wall Street’s major indexes tumbled on Friday, dragged down by a slide in shares of tech heavyweights following their quarterly results, with a record rise in coronavirus cases and nerves over the presidential election adding to a downbeat mood.
The three main indexes were on course for their worst week since March as spiraling coronavirus cases in the United States push hospitals to the brink of capacity.
The CBOE volatility index held at a 20-week high ahead of the final weekend before Election Day on Tuesday.
Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) tumbled about 5.2% after it posted the steepest drop in quarterly iPhone sales in two years due to the late launch of new 5G phones.
Tech and consumer discretionary sectors posted the steepest percentage declines.
Communication services got a boost from a 3.9% jump in shares of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc after the Google parent beat estimates for quarterly sales as businesses resumed advertising.
“There is a big selloff in those big tech names because they didn’t live up to the hype and people are really worried about next week’s election,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.
President Donald Trump has consistently trailed Democratic challenger Biden in national polls for months, but polls in the most competitive states have shown a closer race.
At 10:52 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 423.74 points, or 1.58%, to 26,237.80, the S&P 500 lost 59.85 points, or 1.81%, to 3,250.76 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 297.66 points, or 2.65%, to 10,888.81.
The third-quarter earnings season is past its halfway mark, with about 84.8% of S&P 500 companies topping earnings estimates, according to Refinitiv data. Overall, profit is expected to fall 13.4% from a year earlier.
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) slumped about 20% after the micro-blogging site reported fewer users than expected and warned the U.S. election could impact ad revenue.
AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) gained 5% after the drugmaker posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings and raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 3.9-to-1 ratio, while on Nasdaq, a 0.3-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted two new 52-week highs and one new low, whereas the Nasdaq Composite recorded 12 new highs and 63 new lows.