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Overnight Markets: Consumer staples, tech stocks weigh on Wall Street

Overnight Markets: Consumer staples, tech stocks weigh on Wall Street

US stocks fell on Thursday with consumer staples, technology shares and real estate leading the losses, while rising bond yields and earnings helped financials rebound.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 83 points, or 0.34%, to 24,665, the S&P 500 lost 16 points, or 0.57%, to 2,693 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 57 points, or 0.78%, to 7,238.

Disappointing results from Philip Morris International and Procter & Gamble helped pull the market lower early on. Philip Morris disclosed weak quarterly sales and said sales of its iQos device in Japan were slower than expected. The stock was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, sinking 15.6%.

Procter & Gamble fell 3.3% despite posting results that topped Wall Street's forecasts.

Technology stocks, still the biggest gainers this year, weighed on the market. Chip makers were particularly weak after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. gave an outlook that was below expectations. Lam Research, which makes chip-making equipment, led the slide, dropping 6.6%.

Qualcomm slid 4.8% after the Chinese government said it still has concerns about the company's deal to buy NXP Semiconductors.

Shares in Amazon.com Inc. added 1.9% after chief executive Jeff Bezos disclosed in an annual letter to shareholders that the e-commerce juggernaut’s Amazon Prime subscription programme has topped 100 million members world-wide.

On the earnings front, American Express jumped 7.6% after the credit card issuer reported a big quarterly profit thanks to strong customer spending and a lower tax rate.

Rising bond yields helped push bank shares higher. Financials and energy shares were the only industry groups closing in the green. Bank of New York Mellon rose 5.7%.

Blackstone Group reported first-quarter earnings that topped expectations. Shares rose 1.1%.

In Asia, share markets declined on Friday taking cue from Wall Street’s weak close yesterday amid declines in the technology sector.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.17%, while South Korea's benchmark Kospi index edged down by 0.3%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was lower by 0.21%.

Greater China markets also recorded moderate declines, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shedding 0.49%. On the mainland, the Shanghai composite lost 0.61%.


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Profile: Kevin Doran's formula for success at AJ Bell

Profile: Kevin Doran's formula for success at AJ Bell

From a degree in theoretical physics to teaching and becoming one of the youngest chief investment officers in the UK, Kevin Doran has certainly had an interesting career.

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