Stocks open lower on Wall Street, driven by tech declines

NEW YORK – Stocks open lower on Wall Street as markets turn cautious ahead of U.S. big business earnings reports from this week and other reports that will show how much inflation is hitting businesses and businesses. American households. The S&P 500 fell 1.1% early Monday, while declines in tech stocks helped push the Nasdaq composite down 2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.5%. Twitter sank 7% after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he would walk away from his deal to buy the company, while Twitter said he would sue the billionaire to enforce his commitment to buy.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

NEW YORK – U.S. futures are down with the start of corporate earnings season this week amid growing anxiety about how companies are coping with soaring inflation and to the news about the spread of a new variant of coronavirus.

Also this week, the United States will release new data on rising costs for businesses and families, with inflation nearing four-decade highs.

Dow Jones Industrials futures fell 0.6% and S&P 500 futures fell 0.7% ahead of Monday’s opening bell.

Stocks tumble in Europe midday after most Asian markets tumbled except Japan’s benchmark, which rallied after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections .

The euro edged closer to parity against the US dollar, falling nearly 1% to $1.0091. Europe’s common currency is at its lowest level in 20 years against the US dollar, hit by concerns over a possible recession and a surging greenback as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to fight against inflation.

The US dollar fell from 136.10 yen to 137.15 Japanese yen.

Germany’s DAX fell 1% as the closure of a major gas pipeline from Russia to Germany for annual maintenance raised concerns that Russia may not resume gas flow as expected.

In Paris, the CAC 40 fell by 0.8%, while the British FTSE 100 lost 0.4%.

Wall Street had a tough weekend as global markets watched Chinese economic indicators and maneuvers by central banks, including the US Federal Reserve, to contain stubborn inflation.

On Friday, the S&P 500 fell 0.1% and the Dow also fell 0.1%, while the Nasdaq rose 0.1%. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks fell less than 0.1%.

“A recession is not the market’s baseline outlook, but until proven otherwise, investors will be debating the extent of growth affected, not the likelihood of a recession; so good economic data is good news for equities,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a commentary.

China releases its April-June growth data on Friday, and an update on US inflation is due on Wednesday. Investors are also watching for upcoming corporate earnings reports, which will give investors insight into the impact of inflation on businesses and consumers. Banks, airlines and healthcare companies begin reporting mid-week.

COVID-19 infections are also increasing in some regions. Macau’s Asian gaming center will close all of its casinos for a week from Monday and largely restrict people to their homes as it tries to stop a COVID-19 outbreak that has infected more than 1,400 people over the past three weeks.

The rapidly evolving coronavirus has spawned another super-contagious omicron mutant that is worrying scientists as it gains traction in India and appears in many other countries including the United States, Australia, Germany, the Kingdom United and Canada.

Scientists say the variant – called BA.2.75 – may be able to spread quickly and evade immunity from vaccines and previous infections.

This week, major airlines, banks and healthcare companies will release their quarterly results and the US will release consumer and producer price data.

Asian stocks were mostly down on Monday, although Japan’s benchmark Nikkei jumped 1.1% to 26,812.30.

Japan’s ruling party and its coalition partner scored a major victory in Sunday’s poll, two days after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated. Abe was shot by a man coming out of the crowd listening to his campaign speech, pulled out a homemade gun and fired.

The attack shocked a nation that rarely sees gun violence. The Liberal Democratic Party was tied to victory even before the assassination, but some analysts said the shock of Abe’s death was likely to reinforce that trend.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.1% to 6,602.20. The South Korean Kospi fell 0.4% to 2,340.27.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.8% to 21,124.20, while the Shanghai Composite fell 1.3% to 3,313.58.

Tech stocks tumbled after market regulators in China fined companies for failing to report past trades as required. E-commerce giant Alibaba fell 6.8% while Tencent Holdings lost 3.2%.

Shares on Twitter fell nearly 6% ahead of Monday’s open after Elon Musk announced Friday night that he would drop his $44 billion bid to buy the social media company because he said he ‘she hadn’t provided enough information about the number of fake accounts. Twitter has said it will sue the Tesla CEO to enforce the deal, and a titanic legal battle likely lies ahead.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell $2.37 to $102.42 a barrel. It gained $2.06 to $104.79 a barrel on Friday.

Brent, the international standard, fell $1.78 to $105.24 a barrel.

Garland K. Long