Yesterday Apple (AAPLWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Moderately Flat and trending Up) fell 3.96%. Facebook (FBWealth Strength IndexFB is Extremely Flat and trending Up) was down 5.72%. Amazon (AMZNWealth Strength IndexAMZN is Moderately Flat and trending Up) lost 5.09%. Netflix (NFLXWealth Strength IndexNFLX is Extremely Down and trending Down) tumbled 5.45%.
The big technology stocks that led the market up to historic highs are leading this fall off on a combination of general market nervousness and specific bad news on demand growth.
Among the news creating general nervousness, I’d put Vice President Mike Pence’s attack on China at the weekend Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit at the top of the list. Going into the November 30-December 1 meeting between Presidents Trump and Xi, the Trump White House certainly isn’t sounding like it wants to find some kind of compromise deal on trade. Remarks from random voices on Wall Street suggest worry that we’re about to move to a new stage in the tariff war, one where companies, especially technology companies, see actual supply chain disruption.
And that leads weight to companies specific growth worries. Today, again, the market was awash with stories that Apple had cut production orders for its three new iPhone models. It’s not clear to me if these are additional cuts to the ones reported last week or just the same cuts. Shares of Nvidia (NVDAWealth Strength IndexNVDA is Moderately Flat and trending Up) fell another 12% today, bringing the total decline since the company announced earnings to 28%. The story here is that the market for complex chips and systems to run markets for crypto currencies has gone into decline while growth in the market for those same chips from the cloud sector has slowed. Nvidia is the poster child from selling on that news but the entire chip sector was off with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) down 7.50%, Broadcom (AVGOWealth Strength IndexAVGO is Moderately Flat and trending Up) lower by 3.57% and Intel (INTCWealth Strength IndexINTC is Extremely Up and trending Up) off 1.70%. Among chip stocks you can see the common trend in this market–the stocks that are crashing the most are those that were up the most in the last year.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was lower by 1.66% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 1.56%. The NASDAQ Composite, with its heavy weighting toward technology, was down 3% and the small cap Russell 2000 fell 2.03%.
Perhaps the defining characteristic of this sell off is how concentrated the worst of the damage has been. As of the close on November 19, the S&P 500 is down 8.2% from its all time closing high on September 20.
But Facebook is down 39.5% from its July 25 high; Nvidia is down 43.82% and Advanced Micro Devices is lower by 37.81% from their September 20 levels. Apple is flirting with a 20% decline–the shares closed down 19.9% today from their October 3 high.