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Stocks End Lower on Worries About Tech Outlook, Virus Spike

Stocks close out their worst week since March as Wall Street frets about record-setting new daily coronavirus virus cases and about big tech's outlook.

Stocks finished lower Friday, closing out their worst week since March, after the biggest technology companies in the U.S. posted earnings that topped Wall Street expectations but issued tepid outlooks for the rest of 2020.

Shares of Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report declined after the company reported weaker-than-expected iPhone sales and a revenue slide of 29% in China. Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Twitter, Inc. Report slumped after user growth missed estimates.

Stocks recorded their worst week since March as investors grappled with record-setting new daily cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. Fourteen states recorded all-time highs in cases this week, the most of the pandemic, Bloomberg reported.

Uncertainty about a presidential election less than a week away also rattled stock buyers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average made up some ground late in the session to finish down 157 points, or 0.59%, to 26,501, the S&P 500 was down 1.21% and the Nasdaq declined 2.45%. 

For the week, the Dow industrials gave up 6.5%, the S&P 500 slumped 5.6% and the Nasdaq Composite declined 5.5%.

Apple posted stronger-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings but declined to provide guidance for the holiday quarter amid the continuing uncertainty of the global coronavirus pandemic.

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The stock finished down 5.6% to $108.86 in trading Friday.

Apple's iPhone revenue fell nearly 21% from a year earlier to $26.44 billion, below forecasts, thanks in part to the late launch of the iPhone 12. Revenue in China dropped 29% to $7.95 billion.

Twitter tumbled 21% after posting better-than-expected third-quarter earnings but adding only a million new daily users in the third quarter from the second quarter, well below Wall Street forecasts.

"None of Thursday's tech earnings results were bad and some were spectacular, but the market is reacting negatively because when something is priced for better-than-perfection, it becomes pretty hard to live up to those expectations," said David Bahnsen, chief investment officer of Bahnsen Group in Newport Beach, Calif.

Bahnsen also said the presidential election was a "low-impact event for markets." But he added that if there is controversy surrounding the election "markets will have to slog through it all, just as our country will."

Shares of Alphabet  (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report, parent of Google, were a bright spot in the tech space, ending up 3.8% after reporting a 59% jump in third-quarter earnings on a revenue increase of 14%.

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