US stocks: Wall St lower, Twitter Inc IPO sparkles

Written by Reuters | New York | Updated: Nov 8 2013, 03:52am hrs
Twitter IPOTrading begins on the Twitter Inc IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York, November 7, 2013. REUTERS
Twitter Inc IPO: Frenzied buying in Twitter Inc shares dominated Wall Street's attention on Thursday, as the social media stock opened well above expectations, while major averages fell, led by the Nasdaq.

The broader market was hurt after weak earnings from Whole Foods and Qualcomm and lackluster economic figures, including the first read on U.S. third-quarter gross domestic product that was elevated by inventory accumulation.

Shares of Twitter surged 77 percent to $46.10 from its $26 IPO price, after opening at $45.10 and rallying from there - they skyrocketed as much as 92% later on. The orderly open of the shares on NYSE Euronext's New York Stock Exchange calmed nerves over another Facebook-style trading debacle.


* Twitter opens at $45.10, rallies on heavy volume

* ECB interest-rate cut a surprise

* U.S. GDP tops expectations as inventories rise

* Qualcomm falls after results, outlook

* Indexes down: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.7 pct, Nasdaq 1.3 pct

"It's definitely a hot IPO, and it's doing what it should be doing" said Dan Veru, chief investment officer at Palisade Capital Management. "It seems like they have averted any issues that happened with Facebook."

The rest of the market, meanwhile, was somewhat downbeat. Qualcomm shares fell 4 percent to $66.93, the biggest drag on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes after the company forecast revenue below expectations.

The Nasdaq was the weakest of the major averages, led lower by a 9 percent drop in Whole Foods after its results on Wednesday, while Tesla Motors continued its slide, dropping 8 percent one day after a big fall on lackluster earnings and on reports of a third car fire. The stock remains a favorite among short-sellers who believe it is overvalued.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 62.58 points or 0.4 percent, to 15,684.3, the S&P 500 lost 12.12 points or 0.68 percent, to 1,758.37 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 51.381 points or 1.31 percent, to 3,880.565.

Stock futures had jumped higher earlier in the day after the European Central Bank surprisingly cut interest rates, responding to a slump in inflation that sparked fears the euro zone's economic recovery could stall. The ECB move reinforced expectations global central banks will continue to take actions to buoy struggling economies worldwide.

Separately, weekly initial jobless claims fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000 last week, roughly in line with expectations of a drop to 335,000.

The GDP data, coupled with Friday's payrolls report, may give investors insight into how long the Fed may keep intact its $85 billion a month in bond purchases. The central bank's stimulus measures have been a key component of the 24.1 percent year-to-date gain in the S&P 500, putting the index on pace for its best yearly performance since 2003.