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Wall Street slumps as Ukraine worries grow

English.news.cn   2014-04-26 07:26:25

NEW YORK, April 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks lost ground Friday to end the week lower, as investors weighed escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia against mixed U.S. corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 140.19 points, or 0.85 percent, to 16,361.46. The S&P 500 lost 15.21 points, or 0.81 percent, to 1,863.40. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 72.78 points, or 1.75 percent, to 4,075.56.

After the retreat, the three stock indices gave up all earlier gains in the very busy week for corporate earnings, when the market had seen continuing rebounding, boosted by generally upbeat earnings.

For the week, the Dow fell 0.3 percent, and the S&P 500 dropped 0.1 percent while the Nasdaq lost 0.5 percent.

Renewed concerns over the situation in Ukraine put a damper on the market, causing investors to reduce their positions in stocks.

The standoff between Ukraine and Russia peaked Thursday, when Russia began drills near the border with Ukraine in response to Kiev's "anti-terror" operation, which left five pro-Moscow protesters dead.

Also adding to the passive tone, auto maker Ford trailed expectations on its profit, as investors tended to take money off the table, awaiting more clear evidence in the earnings season to justify the upward run in the stock market.

Ford reported before the opening bell a first-quarter net income of 989 million U.S. dollars, or 24 cents per share, a decline of 622 million dollars, or 16 cents, from a year ago, missing market consensus. However, its revenues stood at 35.9 billion dollars, up from 35.6 billion dollars in the year-ago period, beating analysts' forecast. Shares of the second largest U. S. car maker fell 3.31 percent to 15.78 dollars apiece.

After Thursday's closing bell, Microsoft released its quarterly earnings and revenues, both of which exceeded analysts' forecast. Meanwhile, e-commerce company Amazon.com surpassed market expectations on its revenue while matching market estimate on its earnings.

Microsoft's shares rose 0.13 percent to 39.91 dollars apiece while Amazon's shares slumped 9.88 percent to 303.83 dollars.

Despite new multi-day lows for major indices, some traders still felt a little bit comfortable with the market performance.

"This move can't be considered all that serious just yet," said Mark Newton, chief technical analyst/Partner at Greywolf Execution Partners Inc., in a note Friday, adding that the market hasn't shown much sign of actual trend deterioration.

On the economic front, adjusted for seasonal influences, the Markit Flash U.S. Services Purchasing Managers' Index registered 54.2 in April, down from 55.3 in March.

The latest reading was the second-lowest since October 2013 and indicated a slower pace of expansion than seen on average in the first quarter of this year.

Moreover, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading of U.S. consumer sentiment index rose to 84.1 in April, the highest in nine months, beating market expectations.

In other markets, the U.S. dollar retreated against most major currencies Friday amid continued worries over the Ukraine crisis.

In late New York trading, the euro rose to 1.3837 U.S. dollars from 1.3825 dollars of the previous session. The greenback bought 102.13 Japanese yen, lower than 102.34 yen in the previous session.

Oil prices retreated. Light, sweet crude for June delivery moved down 1.34 U.S. dollars to settle at 100.60 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for June delivery lost 0.75 U.S. dollar to close at 109.58 dollars a barrel.

Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose above 1,300 dollars per ounce on escalating tensions in Ukraine.

The most active gold contract for June delivery rose 10.2 dollars, or 0.79 percent, to settle at 1,300.8 dollars per ounce.

Editor: Fu Peng
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