The major domestic equity indexes closed out the trading day in negative territory, with the Nasdaq down 3 percent as Wall Street took a dim view of Apple, internet and other technology shares, thereby reducing what had been perhaps over confidence in a group of stocks that has propelled the long bull market.
Shares of Apple Inc fell after the Wall Street Journal reported the company had cut production orders in recent weeks for all three iPhone models launched in September.
The iPhone maker’s stock dropped 4.0 percent to $185.86 and is now down 19.9 percent from its Oct. 3 record closing high in the wake of a disappointing holiday quarter sales forecast and weak outlooks from several suppliers. The S&P 500 technology index, down 3.8 percent, led sector losses.
Shares of Apple suppliers were also hit, including Lumentum Holdings Inc, Universal Display, Cirrus Logic and Skyworks Solutions. The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index, which includes some Apple suppliers, fell 3.9 percent, extending losses from the previous session.
Other market leaders – including the ‘FANG’ stocks – also fell sharply. Shares of Facebook were down 5.7 percent, Amazon.com was down 5.1 percent, Netflix fell 5.5 percent and Alphabet fell 3.8 percent.
Since the FANG outperformance run peaked on Aug. 30, the group has underperformed the S&P 500 by 16.25 percent. That is their worst underperformance since the first half of 2014, when they underperformed by around 20 percent.
Conflicting signals over the state of play between the United States and China on their trade dispute added to caution in the market. The S&P utilities and real estate sectors were the only two that ended in positive territory.
Comments by New York Federal Reserve President John Williams on Monday that the Fed is pushing ahead with gradual rate-hike plans next month as it marches toward a more normal policy stance may have added pressure to stocks. The key issue is whether the Fed will be able to continue raising interest rates, possibly harming growth.
Richard Clarida, the Fed’s newly appointed vice chair, said on Friday that U.S. rates are nearing Fed estimates of a neutral rate, which “makes sense.”
Over the weekend, Asia-Pacific leaders meeting in Papua New Guinea failed to agree on a communique for the first time, with U.S.-China trade worries on the forefront.
Trading volumes were thin at the start of the holiday-shortened week ahead of Thanksgiving on Thursday and a shorter session on Friday, which brings a degree of volatility to markets.
Approximately 7.7 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, as compared to the 8.7 billion share daily average for the past 20 trading days.
Builder Sentiment Falls
According to a report released on Monday morning by the National Association of Home Builders, builder sentiment recorded its steepest one-month decline in over 4-1/2 years during November as rising mortgage rates and tight home inventory squeezed the real estate sector.
The NAHB and Wells Fargo housing market index fell to 60 points in November, with that statistic reaching its lowest level since a 59 was recorded in August 2016. That compared with a reading of 68 in October and a consensus reading of 67 among analysts polled by Reuters.
The index’s eight-point drop was the largest monthly decline since a 10-point decrease in February 2014. The seasonally-adjusted component on current single-family home sales decreased to 67, the lowest since August 2016, from 74 in the prior month.
A seasonally-adjusted gauge on expectations of home sales in six months fell to 65 in November, matching the level last seen in May 2016. It was 75 in October.
The barometer on home builders’ view on prospective buyers declined to 45, the lowest level since July 2016 and below 53 in October.