Shortly after opening, the Dow Jones index was 1.1% lower. Technology exchange Nasdaq fell 0.5%. The broadly compiled S&P 500 index fell 0.8% in the red.
An hour before stock exchange trading in New York started, investors were presented with slightly better than expected economic news. The US economy shrank 32.9% yoy in the past quarter from the corona pandemic, while a contraction of 34.5% was projected. The number of unemployment benefit applications in the US rose to almost 1.43 million last week, as expected. More than thirty million Americans now rely on government funding.
Investors expected a bit more from Fed chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday evening. The central banker again pledged to use every possible means to support the US economy in the corona crisis, but did not create euphoria on the financial markets.
Investors on Wall Street were once again faced with a wave of quarterly figures. UPS (+ 10.5%) benefited from the increased online shopping in the corona crisis, which meant that more packages were delivered at home. Parcel delivery revenues increased 13% to $ 20.5 billion. Earnings climbed nearly 9% to $ 1.9 billion. In the US home market, an average of 21.1 million packages were processed daily in the past period, an increase of almost 23%.
Food giant Procter & Gamble (+ 2%) saw sales grow 6% to $ 17.7 billion in the past quarter. The company behind brands such as Pampers, Dreft and Ariel benefited, particularly in North America and China, from an increased need for cleaning and care products due to the corona pandemic. Net profit came in at $ 2.8 billion.
Food group Kraft Heinz (-1.7%) has achieved a more than 7% higher turnover in the past period thanks to the massive hammering by consumers. However, a loss of $ 1.6 billion was incurred due to additional depreciation.
Chipmaker Qualcomm (+ 8.6%) has signed a license deal with the Chinese tech giant Huawei around 5G. Figures were also reported by Qualcomm.
After-hours are also getting busy with results from the major technology companies Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google mother Alphabet. The top executives of those four companies were still questioned in the United States Congress on Wednesday about allegations of market dominance and unfair competition.