Global stocks slide as investors fear big tech stocks may miss targets

Ryanair was down 0.5% as the airline gave up some of the 4% gain it made on Monday despite reporting lower profits

A gauge of global equities slid from two-year highs on Tuesday as investors awaited earnings from the megacap stars that they fear could miss forecasts and drag US markets lower.


Euronext Dublin was up 0.5 per cent at close of business as the banks climbed following a positive broker’s note about the resilience of the sector.

Healthcare services group Uniphar finished up 7 per cent following a trading update in which it said the business performed in line with expectations last year at both a gross profit and earnings level. It said it achieved organic gross profit growth in excess of 5 per cent.

It was a positive day for the Irish banks with AIB and Bank of Ireland up 2 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively following a Davy note that suggested they are primed to deliver across earnings, which will “remain resilient” even as rates fall.


“This is underpinned by a supportive Irish economy and, to an extent, a conservative regulator,” the broker said.

“Irish banks are over-capitalised with attractive capital generation in the next few years – shareholders will now meaningfully begin to benefit from the return of capital for the first time post the recovery of the Irish banking system.”

Elsewhere, Ryanair was down 0.5 per cent at close of business as it gave up some of the 4 per cent gain it made on Monday despite third-quarter results that showed its profits plunged 93 per cent to €15 million in the three months to the end of December.


The FTSE 100 was lifted 0.44 per cent by banking stocks with NatWest, Barclays and Lloyds among the biggest risers of the day.

Shares in Diageo rose 0.91 per cent despite the business reporting a slump in profits over the last six-month period.

SSP, the business behind sandwich-maker Upper Crust, revealed a 17.1 per cent increase in like-for-like sales in the last three months of 2023, in part because there were fewer strikes than a year earlier. Shares in the business closed down 0.27 per cent.

Shares in Deliveroo fell 3.12 per cent after one of the company’s biggest shareholders decided to offload its stake in the delivery firm.


European markets moved higher as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lifted its outlook for growth in the world economy.

In Frankfurt, the Dax was up 0.18 per cent, while in Paris the Cac 40 closed 0.48 per cent higher.

Axel Rudolph, a senior market analyst at online trading platform IG, said: “European stock indices ended the day on a positive note as the IMF raised its 2024 growth forecast, despite it lowering Germany’s from 0.9 per cent to 0.5 per cent this year and euro-zone sentiment weakening slightly.”

New York

The benchmark S&P 500 was subdued as investors assessed earnings reports from legacy companies United Parcel Service and General Motors, as well as data that signalled a mixed labour market.

United Parcel Service slumped 7.8 per cent, after the package delivery giant forecast annual revenue below estimates.

The Dow Jones Transport Average index fell 0.9 per cent to a one-week low after FedEx also dropped 1.8 per cent, and JetBlue Airways shed 6.5 per cent following its bleak first-quarter forecast.

Meanwhile, General Motors jumped 6.6 per cent after the automotive firm forecast upbeat earnings for 2024 and signalled more capital return to shareholders. Automaker Ford Motor also gained 1.6 per cent.

Google’s parent Alphabet dipped 0.7 per cent and Microsoft was flat in advance of results expected after the market closed. Meanwhile, Apple fell 1.5 per cent, dragging the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

While the impact of generative AI is expected to steer the best revenue growth in nearly two years for Microsoft, the effect is likely to be muted for Alphabet’s advertising business. –Additional reporting: agencies

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter