US STOCKS-Wall Street's main indexes down on taper talk, earnings concerns

Reuters

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    * Facebook falls on Apple privacy worries
    * AmEx rises on profit beat, boosts Dow
    * Intel slammed after Q3 sales miss
    * Dow up 0.26%, S&P down 0.09%, Nasdaq 0.8%

 (Updates prices, adds analyst comment)
    By Shreyashi Sanyal, Devik Jain and Sinéad Carew
    Oct 22 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were in the red on
Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell discussed
stimulus tapering while disappointing quarterly reports from
Snap Inc  SNAP.N  and Intel Corp  INTC.O  pushed the
communications and technology sectors lower. 
    The Dow and the S&P 500 started to lose ground after hitting
record highs earlier in what became a choppy trading day. 
    Stocks pulled back further while Powell was speaking but
went on to pare losses after hitting a session low in late
morning. Powell said the U.S. central bank was "on track" to
begin reducing its purchases of assets.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nW1N2QN003
    "Powell's continuing on his data-driven approach and didn't
appear incrementally more hawkish," said Sean Sun, portfolio
manager at Thornburg Investment Management in Santa Fe, New
Mexico.
    But Sun said investors were "really anxious" about weaker
than expected earnings at Snap, which attributed some weakness
in its advertising business to global supply-chain disruptions
and labor shortages that caused brands to pull back on their
advertising spending.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2RH2RW
    This caused shareholders to exit other communications
companies such as Facebook Inc  FB.O , which was down 6%, and
Twitter Inc  TWTR.N , down 4.4%, as they also depend heavily on
advertising revenue. As a result the S&P's communications
services index  .SPLRCL  was the biggest decliner among the
benchmark's 11 major sectors, down more than 2%.
    "Consumers want to open their wallets and buy things but
they can't if goods are stuck on container ships. And
advertisers aren't going to advertise things they can't sell,"
said Sun, noting that growth stocks were down in sympathy.
    "Investors are now thinking about risk reward and valuations
in growth stocks leave less room for disappointment."
    Intel was down 12% after it missed third-quarter sales
expectations, while its chief executive officer pointed to
shortages of chips holding back sales of its flagship
processors.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2RH45C
    By 2:26 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI 
rose 92.07 points, or 0.26%, to 35,695.15, the S&P 500  .SPX 
lost 3.93 points, or 0.09%, to 4,545.85 and the Nasdaq Composite
 .IXIC  dropped 121.42 points, or 0.8%, to 15,094.28.
    Still, the benchmark S&P 500 index  .SPX , which boasted a
record closing high on Thursday, was set for its third straight
week of gains.     
    Eight of the S&P sector indexes were flat or gaining by late
afternoon but consumer discretionary  .SPLRCD  was also falling
along with the technology index  .SPLRCT , which includes Intel.
 
    The financial sector  .SPSY  was the biggest percentage
gainer with help from American Express Co  AXP.N , which jumped
6%, as it beat profit estimates for the fourth straight quarter.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2RI2KP
    Analysts increased their expectations for S&P 500 earnings
growth for the third quarter, forecasting an increase of 34.8%
year-on-year, up from an expected 31.9% rise at the beginning of
the week, according to data from Refinitiv. 
    Data showed U.S. business activity accelerated in October,
as COVID-19 infections subsided, though labor and raw material
shortages held back manufacturing.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nZON0045QJ
    Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.17-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.50-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
    The S&P 500 posted 83 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 126 new highs and 122 new lows.  

 (Reporting by Sinead Carew in New York and Shreyashi Sanyal and
Devik Jain in Bengaluru
Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Matthew Lewis)
 ((Sinead.carew@thomsonreuters.com))

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