Is It Time to Start Worrying About the Stock Market?
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The wall of worry the stock market is trying to climb is getting higher by the day.
The major stock indexes sold off today after fighting back from steep losses yesterday. The Dow and S&P 500 indexes were down more than two percent and the Nasdaq composite fell 3.05 percent. The Entrepreneur Index™ closed down 3.03 percent, with only one of 60 stocks on the index (Bed Bath & Beyond), posting a gain on the day.
Two major factors are causing the anxiety. The prospects for a trade deal with China appear in jeopardy after the arrest of the CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei in Canada at the request of U.S. authorities. If the temporary truce in new tariffs ends, global economic growth is expected to suffer.
The second issue is the Fed and its tightening monetary policy. Lower than expected November job growth numbers reported today were potentially good news for investors, in that they may forestall central bankers from hiking interest rates aggressively. It didn't placate investors, however. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates this month, though it may slow or eliminate rate hikes next year.
The volatility once again hit high-growth technology stocks hardest today. The FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon.com, Netflix and Google -- now Alphabet Inc.) were down sharply after helping stage a comeback in the market yesterday. Netflix (-6.27 percent) had the biggest decline of the four.
The rest of the tech sector fell heavily as well. Chipmaker NVIDIA Corp. was down 6.75 percent--the biggest drop on the Entrepreneur Index™ today. Adobe Systems Inc. (-5.04 percent) and salesforce.com (-4.3 percent) also declined. Twitter, which has 16 analyst buy ratings compared to three sells according to TradingView, had the smallest loss in the tech sector, falling 0.39 percent.
Other high growth stocks were also hammered. Medical device maker Boston Scientific Corp. up 43 percent this year, was down 3.51 precent today and biotech firm Alexion Pharmaceuticals fell 4.49 percent.
Fedex Corp. continued to fall on fears of a slowing economy. It was down 6.36 percent and is now off more than 20 percent since mid-September. Other cyclical stocks like food makers J.M. Smucker Company (-2.64 percent) and Tyson Foods (-2.92 percent) and business Services company Cintas Corp. (-3.62 percent) also declined. Clothing makers Ralph Lauren (-3.61 percent), L Brands (-4.73 percent) and Under Armour Inc.(-2.58 percent) were down sharply.
Casino-operator Wynn Resorts, levered to the enthusiasm of wealthy gamblers in China and the U.S., continued to magnify market volatility, falling 6.6 percent today.
The big retailers also suffered. Compared to Costco Wholesale Group (-3.58 percent) and discounter Dollar Tree Inc. (3.32 percent), Walmart was down a more modest 1.67 percent. Hospital operator Universal Health Services declined 4.12 percent.
The only stock on the Entrepreneur Index™ that gained on the day was specialty retailer Bed Bath and Beyond. It was up 0.57 percent but is down 43 percent this year.
The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.