Nasdaq Giving Back Ground Amid Steep Drop By Snap, Dow Posting Modest Gain

After moving sharply higher over the past several sessions, the major U.S. stocks indexes are turning in a mixed performance in morning trading on Friday. While the tech-heavy Nasdaq is giving back ground, the Dow is showing a modest move to the upside.

Currently, the major averages remain on opposite sides of the unchanged line. The Dow is up 52.41 points or 0.2 percent at 32,089.31, but the Nasdaq is down 67.39 points or 0.6 percent at 11,992.22 and the S&P 500 is down 3.90 points or 0.1 percent at 3,995.05.

A steep drop by shares of Snap Inc. (SNAP) is weighing on the tech-heavy Nasdaq, with the Snapchat parent plunging by 36.2 percent.

The nosedive by Snap comes after the company reported disappointing second quarter results and declined to provide guidance due amid “incredibly challenging” conditions. Snap also announced plans to “substantially slow” its rate of hiring.

Social media giant Twitter (TWTR) has also moved to the downside fter reporting second quarter results that missed analyst estimates, citing advertising industry headwinds and uncertainty related to the pending acquisition by Elon Musk.

Meanwhile, the Dow is benefitting from a notable advance by shares of American Express (AXP), with the credit card giant surging by 4.5 percent.

The jump by American Express comes after the company reported second quarter results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

A notable decline by shares of Verizon (VZ) is limiting the upside for the Dow, however, as the telecom giant is slumping by 6 percent in pre-market trading after reporting weaker than expected second quarter earnings and lowering its full-year guidance.

Overall trading activity appears somewhat subdued, as a lack of major U.S. economic data keeps some traders on the sidelines ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision next week.

The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by at least 75 basis points as part of its ongoing efforts to combat elevated inflation.

Computer hardware and semiconductor stocks are seeing significant weakness in morning trading, contributing to the pullback by the Nasdaq.

Reflecting the weakness in the sectors, the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index are both down by 1.7 percent.

Notable weakness has also emerged among banking stocks, as reflected by the 1.2 percent drop by the KBW Bank Index.

On the other hand, gold stocks have shown a strong move to the upside, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 1.7 percent.

The strength among gold stocks comes amid an increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for August delivery climbing $18.40 to $1,731.80 an ounce.

Interest rate-sensitive utilities, commercial real estate and housing stocks are also seeing considerable strength amid a continued decrease in treasury yields.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.4 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index edged down by 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved modestly higher on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.3 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending the notable upward move seen in the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 10.9 basis points at 2.801 percent.

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