Global stocks sell off as tech tumbles; dollar hits 16-month high


NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. and European stocks fell sharply on Monday, with tech stocks in both regions getting hammered, while the U.S. dollar surged to its highest point in 16 months against a basket of currencies amid concern about European political risks.

FILE PHOTO: A U.S. Dollar note is seen in this June 22, 2017 illustration photo. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo

Major U.S. stock indexes dropped about 2 percent or more. Indexes were weighed down by a 5.0 percent slump in index heavyweight Apple, after an iPhone parts supplier cut its outlook.

Oil prices gave up an initial rally and turned negative, which may have contributed to the steeper sell-off in U.S. equities at the end of the session.

“The concerns are all about global economic growth, specifically demands for the products of companies like Apple,” said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis. “Investors are becoming more concerned about faster-growing companies and whether they will continue to grow at that pace.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 602.12 points, or 2.32 percent, to 25,387.18, the S&P 500 lost 54.79 points, or 1.97 percent, to 2,726.22 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 206.03 points, or 2.78 percent, to 7,200.87.

Apple shares fell as the main supplier for its Face-ID technology, Lumentum Holdings Inc, slashed revenue and profit forecasts, citing reduced orders from a major customer. Lumentum shares tumbled 33.0 percent and shares of other Apple suppliers also dropped.

The S&P 500 technology sector, a main driver of the long U.S. bull run in stocks, sank 3.5 percent.

Goldman Sachs shares fell 7.5 percent, weighing on the financials sector and the Dow industrials, after a report that Malaysia would seek full refund of fees paid to the bank related to state fund 1MDB.

“It’s an ugly sell-off across the board, led by Apple and Goldman,” said J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.

European shares were lower led by a sell-off in technology stocks after earnings and M&A news from German heavyweights Infineon and SAP.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 1.01 percent.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 1.60 percent, its third straight session of declines.

In Europe, fears about a no-deal Brexit and a growing rift over Italy’s budget put pressure on the euro and the pound. The dollar also gained strength as investors built bets on a U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate increase next month.

The dollar index rose 0.81 percent, with the euro down 1.04 percent to $1.1216.

U.S. crude prices fell for the 11th consecutive session, the most on record since the contract began trading, retreating from a rally early in the session as U.S. President Donald Trump said he hoped there would be no oil output reductions.

Trump’s comment followed remarks from Saudi Arabia’s energy minister saying OPEC was considering cutting supply next year, citing softening demand.

U.S. crude fell 26 cents a barrel to settle at $59.93. Brent crude futures reversed course late in the session, settling down 6 cents at $70.12 a barrel.

Both U.S. and Brent contracts continued to drop in post-settlement trading.

Additional reporting by April Joyner, Jessica Resnick-Ault and Richard Leong in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Alistair Bell

Source : Denver Post