By Medha Singh
(Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell on Thursday weighed down by the technology sector, when fears of a global slowdown were reclining after the European Union cut its economic growth forecasts, while a slew of dismal quarterly reports also added to woes.
The European Commission said euro zone growth will slow to 1[ads1].3 percent this year from 1.9 percent in 2018, because of an expected slowdown in the largest countries of the bloc, partly due to global trade tensions.
" There has been concern about the last several months and Europe is in the forefront of that, "said Aaron Clark, portfolio manager at GW&K Investment Management.
World stocks have been roiled by a US trade war since early 2018, but optimism that a trade deal could reach before March 2 deadline, when additional tariff kicks in, has helped recent gains in the markets.
The next round of trade discussions will take place in Beijing in the coming week
The technology sector, which has supported the market in the past four days, fell 1.21 percent.
Marquee names such as Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ :), Apple Inc. ( NASDAQ :), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ :), Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ 🙂 and Alphabet (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc fell between 1 percent and 1.9 percent.
Still, the stellar run in stocks has pushed the up about 8 percent of this year, boosted partly by fourth-quarter earnings which have been largely upbeat.  Of the 282 S&P 500 companies that have reported results, about 70 percent have topped earnings estimates, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. At 9:40 am ET was down 180.95 points, or 0.71 percent, to 25.209.35, the S&P 500 was down 21.57 points, or 0.79 percent, to 2.710.04 and the was down 75.67 points, or 1.03 percent to 7.299.61.
All major S&P sectors were lower, with the defensive consumer staples, real estate and utilities sectors posting the smallest losses.
US regional lender BB&T Corp (NYSE) said it would buy rival SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE 🙂 for about $ 28 billion in stock. SunTrust jumped 11 percent, while BB&T rose 4.95 percent.
Despite these gains, the S&P 500 banks sub-sector was down 0.2 percent as Wall Street's big lenders, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE 🙂 and Bank of America Corp (NYSE 🙂 fell
On the earnings front, handbag maker Tapestry Inc plunged 17.35 percent, the most on the S&P 500, after the cut full-year adjusted profit blaming and slowing global economy.
Twitter Inc (NYSE 🙂 dropped 10.71 percent after the company forecast first quarter revenue and reported a drop in users for the fourth quarter.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 3.34 to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 2.35 to 1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded two new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 15 new highs and 13 new lows.