Apple, Amazon and Meta Take Spotlight as Stock Rally Wavers

Big Tech’s struggle to meet lofty investor expectations this earnings season has taken air out of a record-breaking stock run. Pressure is now on Apple Inc., Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc. to come through on Thursday.

The sector has led the S&P 500 lower this week after results from Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. were met with selling by traders. Investors had bid up the stocks to records on bets that artificial intelligence efforts are set to provide a big lift to profits and sales.

“The market seems to want more and more from these companies,” said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist of LPL Financial LLC. “The market knows it has gone too far too fast and is saying ‘unless you astound us, we’re going to bring you down a number of notches.’”

Big Tech stocks powered the S&P 500’s rally into record territory in January, but if this week is to set the tone for the month ahead, signs are pointing to uncertainty. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Stock Index suffered its biggest drop in three months on Wednesday after earnings disappointed and Fed Chair Jerome Powell dashed hopes of a March interest rate cut. Futures pointed to a rebound Thursday, however.

Apple, Meta and Amazon Slip Ahead of Earnings

Apple’s results are top of mind for investors. The Cupertino, California-based company’s shares have reflected concerns over sluggish iPhone sales and its slow-moving approach to artificial intelligence.