Disappointing earnings from Apple sent Asian shares lower on Wednesday. Japanese and Korean stocks were hardest hit, as the tech sector sold off. The Nikkei dropped 1.4% to 8366, and the Kospi skidded 1.4% to 1769. The Shanghai Composite fell .5% to 2136, the Hang Seng eased .1% to 18877, and the ASX 200 declined .2% to 4124.
European stocks closed up, but the gains were limited. The CAC40 rose .2%, the DAX gained .3% , while the FTSE ended flat. A suggestion that the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) could be granted a banking license gave stocks an early boost, since it would provide a means of increasing the financial power of the bailout fund.
US markets ended mixed, despite weak earnings and disappointing economic data. The Dow rose 59 points to 12676, the Nasdaq slipped .3% to 2854, and the S&P 500 closed flat at 1338.
Apple shares ended down 4.3% after missing quarterly forecasts due to slow iPhone sales. Netflix plunged 25% after warning of a loss for the fourth quarter, and lowering its growth outlook.
Treasuries and Commodities
Bonds ended little changed, with 10-year notes down 3/32 to yield 1.40%, and 30-year notes down 1/32 to yield 2.46%.
Energy continued to trade mixed, as natural gas tumbled 3.7% to 3.068 and gasoline fell 1% to 2.7954, while crude oil gained .6% to 89.01.
Metals rallied, led by silver’s 1.9% advance to 27.31. Gold climbed 1.7% to 1602.70, and copper bounced 1% to 3.3875.
The Dollar retreated on Wednesday, as investors shifted back into risk. The Australian Dollar jumped .9% to 1.0318, while the Euro and Swiss Franc climbed .8% to 1.2156 and .9880 respectively. The Pound and Yen both closed flat.
New home sales tumbled to 350K from 382K, significantly below forecasts of 372K.
Thursday’s economic calendar will include durable goods, pending home sales, and weekly unemployment claims.
Earnings are expected from 3M, Amazon, Amgen, Ariba, Boston Scientific, CME Group, Colgate-Palmolive, Dow Chemical, Exxon Mobil, Facebook, Kimberly Clark, Starbucks, and Starwood Hotels.