Stocks finished lower on Friday as tech stocks led the market lower after an ominous warning from one CEO in the semiconductor industry weighed on the sector. Tesla shares also put the Nasdaq under pressure, while the Dow and S&P 500 were mixed for most of the day before tumbling late in the day to close near session lows. Stocks had a tough and volatile week, with all major indexes falling more than 2%.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,544.1, -115.2, (-0.7%)
- S&P 500: 1,906.1, -22, (-1.15%)
- Nasdaq: 4,276.2, -102.1, (-2.3%)
And now, the top stories on Friday:
1. Microchip CEO Steve Sanghi sounded the alarm on the semiconductor space, saying that another “industry correction” is coming to semiconductors. “We believe that another industry correction has begun and that this correction will be seen more broadly across the industry in the near future,” Sanghi said. Shares of Microchip lost more than 11% on Friday, and a number of its peers including Micron, STMicroelectronics, and Freescale Semiconductors all lost more than 5% on Friday.
2. In a note to clients following Sanghi’s comments, analysts at Citi explained just what an “industry” or “inventory” correction means for semiconductor companies. “In semiconductor speak, an inventory correction occurs whenever demand drops off for a moderate period of time and can occur during economic expansion or contraction,” wrote Citi analysts David Phipps and Ashish Nair. “Inventory corrections typically last 2-3 quarters with a step-down in demand and reduced visibility. The economic impacts are lower sales and margins. Semiconductor company marginal revenue dollar has about a 50% translation into EBITDA.” So, something to keep in mind as we head into earnings season.
3. Electric carmaker Tesla was another big loser on Friday, falling more than 8% after announcing a new all-wheel drive model on Thursday night. Tesla shares fell a bit victim to the old adage of “sell the news,” as Thursday’s announcement was teased in a much-hyped tweet from CEO Elon Musk about two weeks ago.
4. Shares of GT Advanced fell more than 30% to about $US0.80 after reports indicated that the company said it has sought court approval to wind down its sapphire operations. GT Advanced, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this week, had signed a sapphire supply agreement with Apple last year.
5. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon spoke publicly for the first time since announcing that he was diagnosed with throat cancer back in July. Dimon spoke on a panel at the Institute of International Finance in Washington, D.C. today, appearing with CEO peers Brian Moynihan, James Gorman, and Anshu Jain, from Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank, respectively. Business Insider’s Shane Ferro has the full recap here.
6. The Russian ruble fell again against the dollar, bringing the currency’s losses to more than 17% since the end of June.
7. Alpha Pro Tech, which makes protective face masks and other protective gear, rose more than 40% on Friday as it became just the latest peripheral way that investors have trading around news regarding the Ebola breakout. Lakeland Industries, which makes hazmat suits, has rallied hard over the last month, which drug companies like Tekmira and Chimerix remain active.
8. S&P cut its outlook for France to negative from stable, citing concerns about the country’s economy and the government’s budgetary situation. France was last downgraded by S&P in November 2013.