Nvidia surges but broader market falls amid fatigue

Nvidia's forecast-beating earnings lifted shares of the chip company, but the gains did not extend to the broader market (JUSTIN SULLIVAN)
Nvidia's forecast-beating earnings lifted shares of the chip company, but the gains did not extend to the broader market (JUSTIN SULLIVAN)

Wall Street stocks finished firmly lower Thursday after blowout Nvidia earnings failed to ignite a rally in a market struggling to digest gains from recent weeks.

Stocks had opened higher, but analysts cited an uptick in US Treasury bond yields as a driver of the reversal. Market watchers also noted a tendency in equities to sell off after big rallies.

"You've had huge runs since mid-April and there's an inclination to take some money off the table," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.

Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished lower after flirting with records, while the Dow suffered the biggest drop at 1.5 percent.

Nvidia, now the third largest company by market capitalization, still managed to tack on more than nine percent. But the gains did not spread out to the broader market.

In Europe, Frankfurt and Paris stocks initially rose after a key survey showed that eurozone business activity accelerated in May, but gave up most of those gains late in the session.

The HCOB Flash Eurozone purchasing managers' index (PMI), published by S&P Global, rose to 52.3 from 51.7 in April, its highest in 12 months. Any reading above 50 indicates growth, while a figure below 50 shows contraction.

The PMI's rise was driven by the services sector, where activity rose a fourth consecutive month, helped by new businesses. The manufacturing sector remained below 50, although its decline slowed.

"The PMI data has further alleviated growth concerns over Europe, providing mild support to European shares and the single currency," said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at City Index.

London stocks fell again, a day after hotter-than-expected annual UK inflation data dampened hopes of a Bank of England interest rate cut any time soon.

Traders largely shrugged off Wednesday's news that Conservative British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called a general election for July 4.

The right-wing Tories, in power since 2010 but battered by disappointment over Brexit, cost-of-living discontent and a slew of scandals, have consistently trailed the main opposition Labour party in opinion polls for two years.

"It's sooner than expected but until we get full election manifestos from the Conservatives and Labour, markets have stayed calm," noted AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

Elsewhere, oil fell for the fourth day in a row while gold also fell.

Live Nation Entertainment dropped 7.8 percent after the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit, arguing the company, which owns ticketing behemoth Ticketmaster, should be broken up.

Boeing plunged 7.6 percent after the company's CFO predicted another quarter of meager plane deliveries, likely resulting in negative cash for all of 2024.

- Key figures around 2040 GMT -

New York - Dow: DOWN 1.5 percent at 39,065.26 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.7 percent at 5,267.84 (close)

New York - Nasdaq Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 16,736.03 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.4 percent at 8,339.23 points (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.1 percent at 8,102.33 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.1 percent at 18,691.32 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 5,037.60 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.3 percent at 39,103.22 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 1.7 percent at 18,868.71 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.3 percent at 3,116.39 (close)

Dollar/yen: UP at 156.93 yen from 156.80 yen on Wednesday

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0815 from $1.0823

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2696 from $1.2709

Euro/pound: FLAT at 85.16 pence

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.9 percent at $76.87 per barrel

Brent North Sea Crude: DOWN 0.7 percent at $81.36 per barrel