Wall Street gives up 2018 gains amid tech selloff, trade fears

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street shares nosedived on Monday, with the Dow falling to its lowest level of the year and the SP 500 and Nasdaq each poised for the biggest daily percentage drop since February 8, as investors fled technology stocks and trade war fears were stoked anew.

People walk by a Wall Street sign close to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The SP 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped below their 200-day averages driven by a drops in Amazon.com (AMZN.O), Tesla (TSLA.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O), among others, sidelining the retaliatory trade measures China unveiled on Sunday.

“I think this is still primarily a tech-led selloff and what we’ve learned over the past two weeks is just how overweight investors were in technology,” said Nicholas Colas, co-founder of Datatrek Research in New York. “Now there is a fundamental reset on how much tech exposure investors are willing to bear.”

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“(I don’t think it is) primarily related to China. The tariff war has been a concern for a couple of weeks. The response was probably more muted than most thought,” said Colas.

Traders stand outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

At 2:43 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 711.82 points, or 2.95 percent, to 23,391.29, the SP 500 .SPX lost 82.63 points, or 3.13 percent, to 2,558.24 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 253.79 points, or 3.59 percent, to 6,809.65.

Amazon.com (AMZN.O) was the biggest drag on the SP 500 .SPX, down 5.9 percent, as President Donald Trump launched his latest in a series of twitter attacks on the online retailer.

All 11 major sectors of the SP 500 were in negative territory.

The SP 500 Technology index was down 3.5 percent. The tech-laden Nasdaq was dragged lower by Microsoft (MSFT.O), Intel (INTC.O), Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Facebook (FB.O) and Alphabet (GOOGL.O).

Shares of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) were down 5.2 percent after the company was reported to be making 2,000 Model 3s per week, missing its 2,500 target.

The electric automaker’s losses extend last week’s near 14-percent decline as investigations of a fatal California crash and a Moody’s credit downgrade weighed on the stock.

Humana Inc (HUM.N) shares were up 3.2 percent on news that the health insurer was in talks with Walmart (WMT.N) to expand their partnership or to potentially be acquired by the retailer. Walmart stock fell 4.5 percent on the news.

U.S. Treasury prices gained as investors sought safety ahead of Friday’s closely-watched jobs report.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 4.81-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 4.50-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

Additional reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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