US stocks decline, extending pullback

By: Agence France-Presse

Wall Street stocks dipped early Thursday, extending a pullback after a US credit rating downgrade, while markets look ahead to Apple and Amazon earnings.

Major US indices fell one percent or more on Wednesday after Fitch Ratings stripped the United States of the highest AAA rating, citing the country’s weakening governance and rising debt burden.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.4 percent at 35,152.18.

The broad-based S&P 500 declined 0.5 percent to 4,490.79, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.4 percent at 13,921.54.

Analysts said some of Wednesday’s declines and the early losses on Thursday were due to a reversal after strong equity market gains in the first seven months of the year.

On Thursday, analysts also cited a jump in Treasury bond yields, a proxy for US interest rates.

Among individual firms, chip company Qualcomm’s shares sank more than nine percent after forecasting weaker-than-expected profits in the upcoming quarter.

Hasbro gained 3.9 percent as it announced the sale of its eOne film and television business to Lionsgate for around $500 million.

The toymaker also pointed to a reduction of inventory and “meaningful progress” on cost-reduction efforts.

Apple and Amazon are both scheduled to report results after the market closes. Investors are also looking ahead to Friday’s government jobs data for July.