New York - Wall Street stocks retreated on Thursday following mixed earnings reports, while shares of Irish drugmaker Shire rocketed higher as it faced a potential bidding war.
US stock markets, which began the week on a strong note, finished lower on worries about Apple following a weak outlook from supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing. Apple, the biggest company by market capitalisation, fell 2.8%.
US stocks also were pressured by lackluster results from Dow member-Procter & Gamble that underscored the impact of cutthroat pricing for consumer staples as Amazon disrupts the retail sector. Other large consumer stocks, including Colgate-Palmolive and Clorox, also fell.
Analysts also cited the rise in the yield of the 10-year US Treasury bond as a concern, along with the lofty state of the equity market after gains earlier in the week.
"Many look at the market overall and suggest maybe the market is overbought again and it needs to take a breather," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Annuities.
All three major US stock indices retreated, with the broad-based S&P 500 shedding 0.6%.
European markets were mixed, while Asian bourses enjoyed another day of gains as the region's energy firms rallied.
Shire, which is based in Ireland and listed on the London stock market, saw its share price surge more than 10% following reports, later confirmed, that Japan's Takeda Pharmaceuticals was making a takeover move on Shire.
The company gave up much of those gains after Takeda said it had made a takeover bid worth $60bn, but that Shire had rejected the offer.
But Shire shares shot up once again when Botox maker Allergan said it was considering making an offer as well, closing the day 5.9% higher.
Allergan shares fell 4.2% in New York.
"We might see a bidding war on our hands as Allergan are allegedly interested in bidding for Shire," noted CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
Oil futures were mixed, with the US benchmark West Texas Intermedia dipping and British contract Brent futures rising ahead of a closely-watched meeting of major producers in Saudi Arabia.
* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER