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Stock market today: Tech stocks smoked, Nvidia tumbles 10% to cap worst week of the year

Wall Street retreated on Friday as dimming hopes for a coming interest rate cut and geopolitical uncertainty intensified a sell off in Big Tech.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell about 0.9%, notching its sixth consecutive losing day, and suffering its worst losing streak since October 2022. The benchmark index lost more than 3% for the week. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) slid 2.1%, falling more than 5% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) managed to rise about 0.6%.

Disappointing earnings from Netflix (NFLX) weighed on hopes that quarterly reports would help revive the equity rally. Shares of the streaming giant, the first of the megacap techs to update, slid 9%. Technology stocks as a whole flashed red with all of the biggest names shedding value.

Market darling Nvidia (NVDA) lost 10%, while Amazon (AMZN) saw a drop of more than 2%. Apple (AAPL) decreased 1%.

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The market had come back from a deeper sell-off after Israel's retaliatory strike on Iran spooked traders overnight and spurred a rush to safe havens such as gold. But investors are still on high alert, though Iran has confirmed the drone attack and said it failed.

Stocks were already under pressure before the shock amid persistent uncertainty about Federal Reserve interest rate cuts. A growing number of Fed officials this week expressed a more hawkish stance because of hotter-than-anticipated inflation data in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, US government bonds pulled back almost fully from their biggest rally of the year. The yield on the safe-haven 10-year Treasury (^TNX) fell to trade around 4.6%.

In commodities, Brent crude futures (BZ=F) — the global oil benchmark — traded around 0.2% higher to around $87 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (CL=F) were up 0.5% to roughly $83 a barrel. Gold (GC=F) increases cooled a bit after earlier earlier gains, trading up 0.2%.

LIVE COVERAGE IS OVER12 updates
  • Stocks extend losing streak

    Two of the major indexes gave ground on Friday, with the S&P 500 (^GSPC) falling into its sixth straight day of losses. Wall Street was mostly in retreat as concerns over interest rates staying elevated took hold alongside rising geopolitical tensions.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell about 0.9%, suffering its worst losing streak since October 2022. The benchmark index lost more than 3% for the week. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) slid 2.1%, falling more than 5% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) managed to rise about 0.6%.

  • A look at the week ahead

    When the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year, if it all, continues to dominate the storyline on Wall Street. While Big Tech has so far this year carried the broader market, there's less certainty that even solid earnings reports can keep the momentum going.

    Next week will provide another test of the tech sector's ability to push through an increasingly pessimistic narrative of higher interest rates for longer.

    Meta (META), Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) are set to report, coming off of Netflix's (NFLX) disappointing showing. The streaming giant was the first of the megacap stocks to report, weighing on hopes that quarterly reports would help revive the equity rally.

    On the economic front, first quarter GDP is scheduled to publish on Thursday and another crucial inflation reading, the PCE price index is set to arrive on Friday

    Yahoo Finance's Brent Sanchez has a graphical breakdown of what to watch next week:

  • Tesla's EV success made it 'Magnificent.' It could also be its downfall.

    If an autonomous future was one pillar supporting Tesla's (TSLA) "Magnificent" market valuation, an electric car cheap enough for most families was the other.

    But changes from inside the company and from outside forces are swiftly complicating that vision.

    Tesla's stock price is predicated in part on mass-market EVs and leading the paradigm shift in how most of the country gets around.

    But sky-high costs for autos — and especially EVs — have dampened consumer demand and extended any timelines for adoption.

    While governments are set on steering society toward the electric transition, legacy automakers are recalibrating the timing as they adjust to the waning demand. Several big players, including Ford (F) and General Motors (GM), have recently scaled back their EV plans, while others are relying on hybrid vehicles to start the shift.

    Just as competitors are leaning into cheaper hybrids and better-selling gas models, Tesla appears to be pivoting away from its long-anticipated entry-level EV and entrenching its position as a luxury automaker.

    At the same time, resources for the affordable Model 2 EV project have now been allocated to a farfetched robotaxi plan.

    Against an increasingly pessimistic backdrop, the Model 2 was meant to be a shimmering answer to Tesla's short-term woes. But without a daring entry-level vehicle to reinvigorate Tesla's financials, the company's challenges seem less temporary. For some analysts and investors, Tesla doesn't have a future without the Model 2.

    The idea of driving without human intervention has played a crucial part in Tesla's tech-juiced growth story. But what if it's the only part?

  • Rates staying higher for longer could be the new normal

    Surprisingly stubborn inflation has weighed heavily on markets in recent days. And a growing number of Fed officials are throwing cold water on the hopes that a rate cut will soon arrive. What was once a theory of interest rates staying higher for longer is looking more like a new normal.

    Current market wagers don't forecast a Fed rate cut until at least September, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. That's a long ways off from when most interest rate traders thought the easing cycle would begin. As recently as last month, the markets were projecting a June rate cut. But hotter-than-expected inflation readings have scrambled expectations.

    As Apollo Global Management’s chief economist Torsten Slok notes, it typically takes eight months from the last Fed hike until the Fed starts cutting. But this cycle is different. The Fed has kept interest rates constant for ten months since the last hike in July 2023, Slok, said in a Friday note. (Disclosure: Apollo is Yahoo's parent company.)

    "With easy financial conditions still giving a significant boost to inflation and growth over the coming quarters, the risks are rising that we could see a Fed cycle that is very different, with the Fed keeping rates higher for much longer than we usually see," he said.

  • Stocks trending in afternoon trading

    Here are some of the stocks leading Yahoo Finance’s trending tickers page during afternoon trading on Friday:

    Nvidia (NVDA): The AI chip leader was among a host of tech stocks losing ground on Friday afternoon with the semiconductor sector undergoing a correction as interest rate cut expectations dwindle. Nvidia lost more than 4% alongside other high-growth, technology-driven stocks.

    Procter & Gamble (PG): After topping quarterly earnings estimates and boosting guidance, shares of the consumer goods company fell by by 0.2% as investors focused on sales figures that fell short of expectations.

    Netflix (NFLX): Shares of the streaming giant fell 8 % after the company gave a second quarter revenue forecast that missed estimates and announced it would stop reporting quarterly subscriber metrics closely watched by Wall Street.

    American Express (AXP): Shares of the financial services company gained almost 5% after releasing first quarter earnings that showed an 11% jump in revenue compared to the same period a year ago and beating Wall Street expectations. The credit card company also boasted that Gen Z and millennial customers accounted for more than 60% of new account acquisitions globally in the quarter.

  • The S&P 500 slips under the 5,000 mark

    Stocks moved mostly lower Friday afternoon as Big Tech stocks continued a sell-off that sent the S&P 500 back under the 5,000 mark.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell about 0.8%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) slid 1.8%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose about 0.2%.

  • Fed's Goolsbee says 'It makes sense to wait' before cutting rates

    Chicago Fed president Austan Goolsbee became the fourth Fed official this week to strike a more hawkish stance on interest rate policy, signaling that the first long-awaited rate cut might still be months away.

    Goolsbee said Friday that "progress on inflation has stalled" and that "it makes sense to wait" before cutting rates, Yahoo Finance's Jennifer Schonberger reports.

    The comments were notable because previously, Goolsbee had been one of the more dovish members of the Fed, known for his view that the Fed was on a "golden path" to getting inflation down without high unemployment.

    The most recent wave of greater caution started with Fed Chair Jay Powell, who said Tuesday that it will take "longer than expected" to achieve the confidence needed to get inflation down to the central bank’s 2% target.

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March showed inflation was hotter than expected for the third month in a row.

    "You never want to make too much of any one month’s data, especially inflation, which is a noisy series," Goolsbee said in remarks prepared for a speech before the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing's annual conference. "But after three months of this, it can’t be dismissed."

    “Right now, it makes sense to wait and get more clarity before moving," he added.

  • Stocks trending in morning trading

    Here are some of the stocks leading Yahoo Finance’s trending tickers page during morning trading on Friday:

    Super Micro Computer (SMCI): Shares of the server manufacturer slid more than 16% Friday morning after the company announced the date of its third quarter results but didn’t offer a pre-announcement, which investors perceived as a negative signal, Wells Fargo Securities wrote.

    Netflix (NFLX): Shares of the streaming giant fell 7% after the company gave a second quarter revenue forecast that missed estimates and announced it would stop reporting quarterly subscriber metrics closely watched by Wall Street.

    Paramount (PARA): The entertainment company rose 8% Friday morning following a report from the New York Times revealing that Sony Pictures Entertainment (SONY) has entered talks with Apollo Global Management (APO), the parent company of Yahoo Finance, to discuss a possible joint buyout bid of Paramount. According to the report, both companies, through a joint venture, would offer cash for shares of Paramount, taking the company private.

    American Express (AXP): Shares of the financial services company gained almost 5% after releasing first quarter earnings that showed an 11% jump in revenue compared to the same period a year ago and beating Wall Street expectations. The credit card company also boasted that Gen Z and millennial customers accounted for more than 60% of new account acquisitions globally in the quarter.

  • Apple pulls WhatsApp and Threads from China App Store

    Apple has removed WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store in China following a government order, citing national security concerns.

    The censorship demands to restrict access to some of the most popular messaging apps marks Beijing's latest effort to exert control through Apple's ecosystem. The move, Reuters reports, also signals a growing intolerance of China's central government toward foreign online messaging services and less leeway given to the iPhone maker to operate there.

    "The Cyberspace Administration of China ordered the removal of these apps from the China storefront based on their national security concerns," Apple said in a statement.

    China's Great Firewall blocks access to these apps, but they are still commonly used by Chinese users through virtual private networks that bypass the restrictions. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Beijing has raised concerns that the apps could be used by citizens to spread information that is otherwise censored by the government or to cause social unrest.

  • Stocks open mostly lower

    The pressure forcing stocks downward mostly did not let up on Friday, as rising geopolitical tensions, disappointing earnings, and uncertainty about the Federal Reserve interest rate cuts weighed on Wall Street

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose 0.2%. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell about 0.1%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) slid 0.3%,

  • Amex CEO to Yahoo Finance: Our consumers are feeling great

    Inflation may be sticky and damaging many households, but those wealthy households rocking American Express (AXP) cards are still feeling great.

    So great, Amex saw sales rise 11% in the first quarter the company said this morning.

    Here's what Amex CEO Steve Squeri told me by phone:

    "We have got a premium consumer, and our premium consumers are feeling good about the economy and feeling good about what they want to do. And yes, inflation is still high, but it's not growing as fast. And the reality is, our consumers are going to spend."

  • Here's the most important point on Netflix

    Netflix (NFLX) shares are getting hit premarket after another big quarter on almost every line item.

    It makes sense; the stock was priced for perfection ahead of the report.

    But cutting through the noise, this point by Pivotal Research's Jeff Wlodarczak is the most important thing to take away on Netflix at this juncture:

    "Netflix reported another high quality result with an across the board 1Q subscriber beat driven by core US and Euro markets and stronger than expected average revenue per user (successful 4Q price hikes in U.S./U.K./France) implying the ability to generate strong subscriber growth AND take price/expand margins, a powerful combo."

    With nothing in the report suggesting Netflix's fundamentals are struggling, you have to wonder if the pullback in the stock will be bought at the open today. One could make the argument that the stock isn't even that expensive compared to historical trading norms.

    Check out the current valuations on Netflix compared to those seen from 2016 to 2021, when the company was in no way as fundamentally strong as it is today. All data is presented to you, of course, by the Yahoo Finance platform.

    You can analyze more of this data on Netflix by heading to the statistics section on the Netflix ticker page.

    Netflix shares may not be as expensive as they look on the surface.
    Netflix shares may not be as expensive as they look on the surface. (Yahoo Finance)