Tech giants slide, pulling US stock market sharply lower


A broad sell-off in technology companies pulled U.S. stocks sharply lower Monday, knocking more than 460 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Apple, Amazon and other big names fell. Banks and consumer-focused companies and media and communications stocks also took heavy losses. Crude oil prices veered lower, erasing an early gain.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index dropped 40 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,740 as of 2:39 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow fell 469 points, or 1.8 percent, to 25,520. It was down briefly by 509 points. The Nasdaq composite slid 166 points, or 2.2 percent, to 7,240. The tech-heavy index now has a slight loss for the year. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 15 points, or 1 percent, to 1,534. Bond trading was closed for Veterans Day.

THE QUOTE: “Tech is definitely weighing (on the market),” said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA. “The question really is growth. We continue to like tech going into next year, but we think it could be a little bit of a rocky period for the group as we continue through the last two months of the year.”

TECH TUMBLE: Apple tumbled 4.2 percent to $195.96 after Wells Fargo analysts said the iPhone maker is the unnamed customer that optical communications company Lumentum Holdings said was significantly reducing orders. Shares in Lumentum plunged 32 percent to $38.03. Amazon gave up 3.9 percent to $1,645.64.

NOT SO CHIPPER: Several chipmakers were trading lower as part of the slide in technology companies. Advanced Micro Devices gave up 8.2 percent to $19.29, while Nvidia fell 7.1 percent to $191.01. Micron Technology lost 3.6 percent to $37.72.

FINANCIALS SLIDE: Banks and other financial companies also took heavy losses. Goldman Sachs slid 6.8 percent to $207.40.

“Expectations are really that the deregulation process that has benefited banks up to this point is going to be slowed down with the Democrats in charge,” Bell said.

ON SHAKY GROUND: AECOM fell 6.5 percent to $30.60 after the engineering and construction company reported quarterly results and an outlook that disappointed Wall Street analysts.

SEEKING SAFETY: Investors bid up shares in utilities and other traditionally safe-haven stocks. NRG Energy climbed 4.7 percent to $40.07.

LIFELINE EXTENDED: Athenahealth jumped 9.6 percent to $131.96 after the struggling medical billing software maker received a $5.7 billion cash buyout offer.

MAJOR MAKEOVER: Shares in cosmetic maker Coty added 3.6 percent to $8.80 after the company said CEO Camillo Pane, who led the company for two years, has resigned for family reasons. Pierre Laubies, who last ran JDE, a beverage company, takes over immediately and will also have a seat on the board.

SCORCHED: PG&E tumbled 12.9 percent to $34.77 after the electric utility told regulators that a high-voltage line experienced a problem near the origin of one of the major California wildfires before the blaze started.

NOVEMBER TURN: The stock market is coming off a two-week winning streak for the benchmark S&P 500. Stocks appeared to have regained their footing after a skid in October snapped a six-month string of gains for the S&P 500. Stocks rallied last week after the U.S. midterm elections turned out largely as investors expected, with a divided Congress promising legislative gridlock in Washington the next couple of years.

While the market has typically thrived in periods of divided government, investors continue to grapple with uncertainty over the U.S.-China trade dispute and the potential impact of increased oversight of Corporate America by Democrats, who will be taking over leadership in the House of Representatives in January.

In addition, some companies have recently reported third-quarter earnings and outlooks that have stoked investors’ worries about the future growth of corporate profits.

While companies got a boost this year from the lower tax rates put in place by President Donald Trump and the GOP last December, several companies have recently warned about the impact of higher costs related to tariffs and rising interest rates.

About 90 percent of S&P 500 companies have reported third-quarter results so far, with some 51 percent of those posting earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street’s forecasts, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Several big retailers are due to deliver results this week, including Walmart, Home Depot, Williams-Sonoma, Nordstrom and J.C. Penney.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gave up an early gain, sliding 0.2 percent to $60.06 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, picked up 0.3 percent to $70.38 per barrel in London. Oil futures rose earlier on news that major producers planned to reduce output. Saudi Arabian energy minister Khalid al-Falih said Sunday that the kingdom will reduce exports by around 500,000 barrels a day from November to December. Russian oil minister Alexander Novak said at a meeting of oil producers in Abu Dhabi that his country was open to cuts.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 113.85 yen from 113.80 yen on Friday. The euro fell to $1.1240 from $1.1336. The British pound weakened to $1.2849 from $1.2975 amid concerns that Britain’s government is struggling to find unity on a Brexit deal.

METALS: Gold fell 0.4 percent to $1,203.50 an ounce. Silver lost 0.9 percent to $14.01 an ounce. Copper slid 0.3 percent to $2.68 a pound.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major stock indexes in Europe declined. Germany’s DAX lost 1.8 percent and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.9 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.7 percent. In Asia, markets finished mixed. Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.1 percent. Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.3 percent. The Kospi in South Korea dipped 0.3 percent.

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