US stocks dropped on Thursday, erasing the small gains at the opening, as investors struggled with the move by the Swiss National Bank to scrap its three-year euro cap on the franc.
Swiss stocks traded in the US edged higher, including UBS, climbing 2.4% to $16/87, Novartis, climbing 1.9% to $98.62 and Credit Suisse, climbing 3.2% at $23.55. The strengthening Swiss franc made stocks denominated by the US dollar cheaper.
Reuters quoted president of investment firm Liberty View Capital Management, Rick Meckler as having said, “The Swiss move was obviously the big move, people are trying to get their arms around what it means for the US stock market. It will take some of the morning to sort out the impact of the Swiss move across the board.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.2% or 42 points to 17,384 while the S&P 500 dropped 0.3% or seven points to 2,004. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.5% or 25 points to 4,613.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Bank of America Corp. dropped 2.2% after it reported its Q4 profit dropped 11%, hurt by lower trading revenue. Its results missed the expectations. Citigroup Inc. dropped 2.1% after it said that its Q4 profit had plunged 86% from a year ago, weighed down by massive legal charges and disappointing revenue.
Intel Corp, Dow component, is expected to report after the close of the market.
Best Buy shares dropped 15.1% to $33.88 to become the worst performing component of the S&P 500 after the retailer of electronic posted holiday sales results.
Blackberry US-listed shares declined 15.8% to $10.61 after Samsung Electronics of South Korea announced that it has no plans of buying the Smartphone maker.
Chief strategist at BTIG brokerage based in New York, Dan Greenhaus said, “Right now, earnings are in focus.”
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