NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street’s major indexes fell on Monday, with the S&P 500 sliding 2 percent, weighed by technology and financial stocks as shares of Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) came under pressure.
RANDY FREDERICK, VICE PRESIDENT OF TRADING AND DERIVATIVES FOR CHARLES SCHWAB IN AUSTIN, TEXAS:
“At the end of the week on Friday, people were sort of taking risk off the table going into the weekend. That’s not an uncommon thing especially when we had a pretty sharp rally earlier in the week after the midterm elections. And then we have what I call a “partial holiday” today. So anytime you’ve got a weekend plus an almost holiday weekend – although markets are open today the banks aren’t – for people to take some risk off the table, especially after a bullish move in the market, is not uncommon. But I kind of thought we would have a bit of a bounce this morning and we didn’t get that at all.
“I think the bigger thing was the tech sector. Certainly it was a couple of stocks that do business with Apple talking about lower orders and concerns about that. And Apple itself is down a lot. It’s a big bellwether in many indexes and it’s considered a bellwether for the whole tech industry and I think that just kind of sparked some panic across several tech sectors including semiconductors... The thing about tech is that it’s the biggest sector in the market – it’s 21 percent of the overall market, which is huge. But also these guys have been an outperformer for a good part of this year and, in fact, not just this year but for several years. So they tend to be highly volatile. When they lead to the upside they also tend to lead to the downside, and so when there becomes some concern about that, people get a little uncertain, a little scared and they start selling them off.”
CHUCK CARLSON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AT HORIZON INVESTMENT SERVICES IN HAMMOND, INDIANA
“Looks like we’ve gone through the bulk of the earnings season so now the market’s attention is going to be focused on non-earnings -related things. And today’s trading may be a bit exacerbated by the holiday and volumes may be a bit lower. But a couple of things are going on.
“One, you continue to see the adjustment in market leadership, today that was really accelerated with money continuing to move out of the high-growth tech area, spurred by reports that Apple’s smartphone business may be slowing. Money is shifting from there into risk-off assets, utilities, defensive stocks, dividend payers. That’s an adjustment that had been occurring for some time, but there seems to be an acceleration today.
“Couple that with concerns about the dollar’s strength and what that might mean for corporate profits going forward. The biggest issue is the market continuing to grapple with what appears to be a pendulum swing back toward value, dividend-paying stocks, risk-off assets versus where we were early in the year which was growth, growth, growth. When you have significant shifts like that you have tons of money that’s flopping around out there, it can result in days like this where you have these kinds of adjustments going on.
“Certainly volume will impact the thinner market and that can accentuate moves. That is a factor that may be exacerbating the decline today, you probably have a lower participant market today. Tomorrow it will be interesting to see if people are willing to step in and buy the two day dip. When the bond market opens along with the stocks, maybe the stock market took all of the selling today. If people are in a selling mood they’re going to sell what they can sell. Today the only thing they could sell were stocks. Tomorrow is going to be pretty telling in terms of how significant this one-day trading activity was.”
PETER JANKOVSKIS, CO-CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER AT OAKBROOK INVESTMENTS LLC IN LISLE, ILLINOIS:
“I would say at the moment it seems the path of least resistance is down. Obvious the techs are dragging on the market pretty heavily. We have also seen energy, perhaps joining in a little bit more as we get closer to the close because we have seen oil up earlier in the day and now it has turned negative.
“Most of the other stuff has been out there, tech has been down all day, industrials with GE have been weighing all day, that is the biggest change I can see. (Goldman Sachs) is certainly hitting the financials, although the financials as a whole are kind of in line with the market overall.
“You just have to wait and see, realistically we are getting to the point where things are a little overdone on this but it sometimes takes a while for the market to come to that same conclusion.”
RANDY FREDERICK, VICE PRESIDENT OF TRADING AND DERIVATIVES FOR CHARLES SCHWAB IN AUSTIN
“I think it’s just Apple. It’s such a big company and such a bellwether for all things tech. The tech sector has been a leader year-to-date and it’s a high beta sector, it starts to become a bigger drag on the way down.
“It seems a bit overdone to me. There is obviously some volatility in the oil markets and the dollar is up a little bit, but this kind of a selloff is pretty substantial. It seems to be fairly widespread. It’s a bit surprising.”