Yesterday’s 2.5% plunge for the NASDAQ has sent shockwaves through world markets overnight and into this morning. The plunge, which was particularly steep relative to yesterday’s declines of 1.0% for the S&P 500 and 0.1% for the Dow Industrials, suggests that sentiment has soured against technology, communications, and growth/momentum stocks in particular.
Asia Pacific trading saw the Nikkei nosedive 3.1% and the Hang Seng drop 2.0%. In Europe, the Dax and the FTSE are both down 2.2%. In US premarket trading, Dow futures are down 0.5% while NASDAQ futures are down 1.75%.
Commodity action has been more mixed. Energy contracts have been giving back some of yesterday’s shock pipeline cyberattack-related gains with WTI crude oil down 1.5% and gasoline down 0.7%. On the other hand, copper continues to move up, gaining another 1.25%, indicating underlying global economic reopening anticipation remains intact. Commodity price action helped the resource-sensitive Australian S&P/ASX 200 to decline only 1.0%, less than its Asia-Pacific peers.
On a light day for economic news, investor focus has turned to several corporate developments. Some companies continue to post positive earnings including Simon Property Group* ($1.36 vs street $0.96), video game producer Roblox (revenues up 140% over year in its first report as a public company), and clothing producer Hanesbrands ($0.39 vs street $0.26). L Brands announced plans to split its Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works divisions into two separate companies. Virgin Galactic, on the other hand, missed expectations (-$0.55 vs street -$0.27), sending its shares plunging 19.8% in premarket action. Novavax is down 13.5% in premarket trading today after the company announced it is delaying applying for regulatory approval for its COVID vaccine to Q3 at least.
* Shares of Simon Property Group are held in portfolios managed by SIA Wealth Management.
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