U.S. stocks quickly turned lower Friday afternoon after the FBI notified Congress that it will investigate new emails found in a probe of a private server that belonged to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. That injected a note of uncertainty just a week and a half before the presidential election.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 60 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,109 as of 1:37 p.m. Eastern time. The index was up 80 points before the new inquiry was disclosed. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,121. The Nasdaq composite slid 26 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,189.
EARLY GAIN FADES: The market had been higher for much of the day after the government said the economy broke out of its recent slump and grew faster than expected during the third quarter. Those gains faded quickly after the FBI’s announcement, which occurred at about 1 p.m. Eastern. The Commerce Department said exports grew and more businesses restocked their shelves. In total, gross domestic product grew 2.9 percent, which was better than economists expected. Growth had slowed down late last year, causing worry among investors.
DEAL TALK: General Electric and oil and gas drilling services company Baker Hughes said they are in talks about a possible deal. GE said the talks concern a partnership and that it doesn’t intend to buy Baker Hughes outright. Baker Hughes tried to merge with competitor Halliburton two years ago, but the companies walked away from the combination after the federal government sued to block it. GE added 91 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $29.54 and Baker Hughes gained $3.67, or 6.7 percent, to $58.22.
HEAVY INDUSTRY: Other industrial stocks also climbed. United Technologies picked up $1.94, or 1.9 percent, to $102.01 and Honeywell rose $1.90, or 1.7 percent, to $110.73. After strong third-quarter results, industrial and measurement company Fortive gained $3.83, or 8.1 percent, to $51.32 and medical waste management company Stericycle jumped $6.24, or 8.4 percent, to $80.20.
FEELING LUCKY: Alphabet, Google’s parent company, reported better-than-expected results for the third quarter. The company said YouTube is gaining more ad dollars. The stock rose $12.72, or 1.6 percent, to $830.07.
Payment processor MasterCard also lent the technology sector a hand as it rose $3.66, or 3.5 percent, to $107.26 after reporting that its credit card transactions climbed in the third quarter. Elsewhere, Facebook picked up $2.94, or 2.3 percent, to $132.63.
NOT PRIME: Amazon sank after its profit came up short of analyst estimates and the company’s outlook was weak. The stock is trading at all-time highs and has surged more than 30 percent over the last 12 months. It fell $33.81, or 4.1 percent, to $784.55.
BITTER PILL: Prescription drug distributor McKesson plunged to a three-year low after its revenue fell about $1.5 billion short of estimates. The company slashed its annual outlook because of weaker drug prices, and investors worried that McKesson and its rivals will compete by making bigger cuts in prices. McKesson tumbled $39.24, or 24.4 percent, to $121.26 and competitor AmerisourceBergen lost $10.10, or 12.7 percent, to $69.41 while Cardinal Health shed $8.31, or 11.1 percent, to $66.49.
AMGEN AILING: Amgen, the world’s largest biotech drug company, reported solid results for the third quarter and raised its guidance. However the company also disclosed flat sales of the anti-inflammatory medication Enbrel, its top-selling drug. Enbrel will soon face more competition, which could hurt sales. It gave up $16.99, or 10.6 percent, to $143.58. Drugmaker AbbVie disclosed weak sales and lost $3.18, or 5.2 percent, to $58.28.
Health care stocks are the worst performing part of the market this year: they’re down about 6 percent while the S&P 500 is up almost 5 percent. Their performance compared to the rest of the market has gotten even worse over the last few months.
ENERGY: Energy companies rose. Chevron gained $5.05, or 5.1 percent, to $104.97 after it reported results that were stronger than expected. Exxon Mobil didn’t fare as well, and its stock lost 92 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $86.
U.S. crude fell 57 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $49.15 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 60 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $51 a barrel in London.
SKUNKED BEER: AB InBev cut its annual revenue forecast following weak results from its business in Brazil. The world’s largest beer maker fell $3.97, or 3.3 percent, to $117.49.
HANES PULLED UP: Hanesbrands climbed as investors were pleased with its forecasts for the fourth quarter. The underwear, T-shirt and sock maker added $2.19, or 9.2 percent, to $26.
CROWNED: Royal Caribbean Cruises, which has fallen by almost a third this year, traded higher after its third-quarter profit came in ahead of estimates. The stock gained $7.14, or 10.5 percent, to $75.19.
BONDS: Bond prices held steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note stayed at 1.85 percent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 104.88 yen from 105.29 yen. The euro rose to $1.0969 from $1.0898.
OVERSEAS: France’s CAC 40 rose 0.3 percent and the FTSE 100 in Britain picked up 0.1 percent. Germany’s DAX edged down 0.2 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.6 percent and South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.2 percent. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng lost 0.8 percent.
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