S&P 500, Nasdaq end lower but Dow jumps on mixed earnings

STORY: A mixed session for U.S. stocks Thursday dominated by a stunning selloff for Meta Platforms.

Shares of the Facebook parent lost nearly a quarter of their value after the social network followed the trend set by Microsoft and Alphabet by providing gloomy forward guidance.

Meta has lost more than half a trillion dollars in market value so far this year, with shares trading at their lowest level in more than 6.5 years.

But Meta’s downdraft mostly hit the Nasdaq. The Dow posted a point-six percent gain, while the S&P lost six tenths of a percent, and the Nasdaq fell more than a percent and a half.

Ryan Belanger is managing principal and founder of Claro Advisors.

"I think the markets today are starting to see a bifurcation in some of the assets that investors want to hold. So you've got the Nasdaq, just continues to be out of favor. You know, the earnings release from Meta was poor. And I think that's going to cycle through also with Google. And I think investors now are looking at the alternatives, dividend-paying stocks, companies that have good cash flows and higher quality perhaps. And I think those are the type of companies that investors kind of want to hang out in while we get through this recession that everyone seems to be talking about. That seems to be coming pretty soon."

But that expected recession is not here yet. A third-quarter GDP report out Thursday showed the U.S. economy returned to growth after two straight negative quarters.

Other movers Thursday included heavy equipment maker Caterpillar, which reported better-than-expected quarterly profit, sending its shares higher.

Fellow Dow component McDonalds also advanced after the fast-food chain beat quarterly same-store sales estimates.

But the tech rout could extend into Friday.

After the close, Apple and Amazon both reported earnings.

Amazon forecast a profit slump during the holiday quarter, sending shares down more than 20% in extended trading.

Apple reported revenue and profit that topped Wall Street targets, but said iPhone sales were not as strong as some analysts had expected. Shares also fell.