U.S. stocks were not able to hold onto momentum and closed trading down across the board Wednesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average wades further into correction territory.
The Dow fell 0.04%, or 9 points, to 23,848 while the S&P 500 declined 0.3%, or 8 points to 2,605, and the Nasdaq fell 0.85%, or 60 points to 6,949.
Equifax Taps Former GE Exec to Lead Company
Begor, 59, will take over for Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., who became interim CEO of the credit reporting company in September after Richard Smith stepped down amid controversy over the company's handling of a data breach.
Nearly 150 million Americans had their data exposed in a hack that exploited a software flaw that Equifax left unchecked. The hack was exposed on September 7 and Smith was out shortly after.
"I will prioritize continuing our team's efforts to communicate transparently and restore confidence with consumers, customers, shareholders and policymakers," Begor said in a statement.
Facebook Adds 'Data Misuse' to Program Rewarding Users Who Find Bugs
Facebook (FB) announced plans to expand its bug bounty program to include incidences of data misuse as the company looks to gain back public trust it recently lost over how it handles user data.
The program encourages users to find and report security vulnerabilities at the company for a fee. The program's largest payout was $33,500.
Facebook's bug bounty program will expand so that people can also report to us if they find misuses of data by app developers," Ime Archibong, Facebook's director of platform partnerships, said Monday. "We are beginning work on this and will have more details as we finalize the program updates in the coming weeks."
Pending Home Sales Rose in February for First Time in 3 Months
U.S. pending home sales rose in February, according to the National Association of Realtors, the first time home sales have risen in three months.
The NAR pending home sales index increased to a reading of 107.5, a 3.1% increase from January. Economists were expecting a 2.1% increase in the index.
The pending home contracts index is seen as a forward-looking indicator of the health of the housing market.
January's index number was also revised down to 104.3 from 104.6.
Apple Users Sue Over iPhone Slow Down
Apple (AAPL) faces a lawsuit brought by dozens of iPhone owners angry over the company's admission that it slowed down old phones in order to preserve battery life.
About 60 different people have filed at least 59 separate lawsuits since December, according to the Wall Street Journal, after the company said that it was engaged in the long-rumored practice of hindering the usability of some of its outdated devices.
Apple is already being investigated by the Justice Department and Securities Exchange Commission over its disclosure that it deployed software updates that slowed older iPhones.
Facebook to Delay Unveiling of Smart Speaker, Report Says
Tech watchers will have to wait a bit longer to view Facebook's (FB) smart speaker after Bloomberg reported that the company will delay the unveiling of the device.
The social media company was supposed to show the device for the first time at its annual developer conference in May.
Facebook has been embroiled in a discussion concerning data privacy after the company admitted it a political advocacy company used the data from 50 million unsuspecting users.
Facebook shares were up 0.8% on heavy trading Wednesday morning.
Tech Worries Are Weighing on the Market Wednesday
Stocks lost their early momentum to fall into negative territory, led by declines in the Nasdaq and S&P 500. The Dow was still holding on to slight gains about an hour after markets opened for trading.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq's decline should come as no surprise as a decline in tech shares has been the driving force for much of the current bull market.
"The fate of equity markets right now, also the fate of the bull market right now, is heavily connected with tech," Max Kettner, a Commerzbank AG cross-asset strategist, told Bloomberg TV.
The Nasdaq was down 0.6% Wednesday morning, while the S&P declined 0.08% and the Dow held on to a gain of 0.15%.
OPEC to Continue Production Cuts, Report Says
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will maintain its production cuts even though oil prices are creeping back up into triple digits, sources told Reuters.
The cartel's production cuts have had the desired effect as oil prices creep higher following a sharp downturn that lasted more than 2 years. Oil prices recently topped $71 a barrel for the first time since 2014.
Oil prices were falling Wednesday morning with Brent crude declining 0.63% to $69.67 per barrel and West Texas crude declined 1.-7% to $64.55 per barrel.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Boosts 2018 Forecast Following Strong Quarter
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) shares were rising 2.3% Wednesday morning after the drug retailer topped analysts' second-quarter earnings and profit expectations and raised its 2018 forecast.
The company believes it will earn between $5.85 and $6.05 per share, up from its previous view between $5.45 and $5.70 per share.
The company expects to see a $350 million cash tax benefit for fiscal 2018, up $150 million from its previous estimate.
Walgreens earned $1.73 per share in the second quarter, 18 cents better than analysts were expecting, on revenue of $30.02 billion, up 12% year over year. Analysts were expecting revenue of $32.19 billion.
Uber Settles Discrimination Class Action Suit for $10 Million
Uber decided to settle a class action discrimination lawsuit for $10 million.
The lawsuit represented 420 engineers who identified as women or people of color who claimed that the company's payment system was discriminatory.
The settlement involves claims that date back to July 2013 and the company said that it was ready to move on.
"In the past year alone we have implemented a new salary and equity structure based on the market, overhauled our performance review process, published our first Diversity & Inclusion report and created and delivered diversity and leadership trainings to thousands of employees globally," an Uber spokesperson said.
SoftBank, Saudi Arabia to Build World's Largest Solar Farm
SoftBank and Saudi Arabia (SFTBF) are teaming up to build the world's largest solar farm, a project that is expected to create 100,000 jobs in Saudi Arabia and produce 200 gigawatts of energy a year, or a third more than the global photovoltaic industry supplied worldwide last year.
The farm could cost $200 billion and nearly triple the country's electricity generation capacity, which totaled 77GW in 2016 and was mostly made up of natural gas and oil.
The initial investment for the farm is $5 billion, $1 billion of which will come from SoftBank's Vision Fund.
U.S. futures were rising slightly ahead of the market open after spending time in positive and negative territory Wednesday.
Dow futures were rising 0.32%, indicating an open 76 points higher to 23,935, while Nasdaq futures were up 0.24%, indicating an opening 16 points higher to 6,577, and S&P futures were rising 0.3%, indicating an opening 8 points higher to 2,623.
Markets in Asia fell sharply, continuing the late market downturn in U.S. stocks Tuesday afternoon. The Hang Seng led the way lower, falling 2.5%, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 1.4% and the Nikkei dropped 1.34%.
In Europe, the CAC 40 was leading the way lower, falling 0.81% while the DAX dropped 0.71% and the FTSE 100 declined 0.1% with about four hours left in trading.