Updated from 1:30 p.m. ET on Monday, June 12
Wall Street was on track to close Monday, June 12, with losses for the second day in a row as a tech selloff that dragged the Nasdaq from its record highs on Friday, June 9, resumed.
The Nasdaq slumped 0.85% but was off its worst losses of the session. The S&P 500 was down 0.35%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.32%. The Nasdaq was on track to close out with its worst two-day losing streak since September.
A swift and unexpected selloff in tech surprised markets on Friday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq suffered its worst weekly performance since the week ended Dec. 16. The Nasdaq had hit an intraday record earlier in the session. The sudden selloff was partially tied to a note from Goldman Sachs that said low volatility in Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Report , Amazon Inc. (AMZN) - Get Report , Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) - Get Report and Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) - Get Report may be blinding investors to risks including regulation and cyclicality. The firm cautioned investors not to think of the sector as a safe haven.
Industry leaders bore some of the worst of the sector's losses on Monday. Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Report , Alphabet, Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) - Get Report , Facebook, Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) - Get Report and Intel Corp. (INTC) - Get Report were all sharply lower, Netflix Inc. (NFLX) - Get Report entered correction territory, and the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) - Get Report slumped 1%.
"Technology stocks have been rallying aggressively in recent times, as momentum-chasing speculators bought names such as Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and et al. like there was no tomorrow," said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at Forex.com. "Such bullish runs often end abruptly and that is what may have happened [Friday] ... Now that the sector is falling, it could drag the major indices lower and undermine investor confidence in other sectors."
After a meteoric rise, there are a number of tech stocks vulnerable to a sharp pullback. Bruce Kamich lists 15 stocks to be wary of in this selloff. Get his insights with a free trial subscription to our premium site for investors, Real Money.
Apple -- down 3.3% -- led the Nasdaq lower on Monday after getting hit with another downgrade, its second in a week. Mizuho Securities downgraded its rating to neutral from buy and cut its price target by $10 to $150. Analysts argued that high expectations for the upcoming iPhone 8 have already been priced in.
"We believe enthusiasm around the coming product cycle is fully captured at current levels, with limited upside to estimates from here on out," analysts wrote in a note.
A strong performance from Apple shares was also reason to reconsider upward potential, analysts said. Apple has already risen almost 29% this year, far higher than the 8.6% growth in the S&P 500. The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF has risen more than 15%.
Last week, analysts at Pacific Crest downgraded their rating on Apple to sector weight and provided a $145 price target. The firm pointed out similar concerns regarding the iPhone 8 and analysts' already-priced-in expectations.
Amazon followed tech stocks lower even after Piper Jaffray reiterated an overweight rating and increased its price target by $150 to $1,200. Analyst Michael Olson says Amazon's retail growth in its second quarter is unlikely to slow down.
A rally in crude oil helped to minimize losses on the S&P 500. Oil moved higher on Monday ahead of monthly reports on the state of domestic and global supplies and demand later in the week. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will release their report on Tuesday and the International Energy Administration is set for Wednesday.
West Texas Intermediate crude was up 1% to $46.27 a barrel on Monday.
The energy sector was one of the best performers on Monday. Major oil producers Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) - Get Report , Chevron Corp. (CVX) - Get Report , ConocoPhillips (COP) - Get Report , Halliburton Company (HAL) - Get Report , and Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A) climbed, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) - Get Report added 0.8%.
Investors were also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting that begins Tuesday, June 13. Markets expect few surprises there. A June rate hike has been widely expected since Fed commentary in recent weeks suggested there were more hawks than doves. Members have pointed to a tightening job market, the risk of being behind the curve on inflation, and a generally healthy economic recovery.
The Federal Open Market Committee, the monetary policy arm of the central bank, will make an announcement on interest rates on Wednesday afternoon.
Wall Street is incredibly confident in a rate hike -- CME Group fed funds futures have priced in a more than 99% chance of a 25-basis-point increase. Should the Fed raise rates, it will be the second of three expected hikes this year.
"We would think it's unlikely that the Fed would throw in a surprise to the market and not move interest rates," Mark Heppenstall, chief investment officer at Penn Mutual Asset Management, said in a phone call. "I think there would be the potential for 'what do they know that we don't know' type of mindset among investors if they weren't to deliver on their tightening."
The Fed will also release updated economic growth and rate hike forecasts, while Fed Chair Janet Yellen will hold a press conference mid-afternoon Wednesday.
General Electric Co. (GE) - Get Report surged nearly 4% after CEO Jeff Immelt announced his retirement as of Aug. 1. Immelt will continue as chairman until the end of 2017. John Flannery, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, will assume Immelt's chief executive role after his retirement in August and take over as chairman in 2018.
Warner Bros.' "Wonder Woman" dominated the weekend box office again, trumping Tom Cruise's "The Mummy"in its debut weekend. Time Warner Inc.'s (TWX) "Wonder Woman"brought in $57.2 million in North American theaters over the weekend, while Comcast Corp.'s (CMCSA) - Get Report "The Mummy"pulled $32.2 million. "Wonder Woman"has earned $205 million in domestic markets over the past two weeks and is the largest blockbuster directed by a female.
Pandora Media Inc. (P) fell more than 3% after Oppenheimer downgraded the stock to perform from outperform. The firm removed its price target of $14 on the music streaming service's stock as it believes the company's turnaround is going to take time.
Ascena Retail Group Inc. (ASNA) - Get Report rose more than 7%, adding to gains seen Friday. The retailer climbed after announcing plans to close or reduce rent at more than 650 locations as leases mature through to July 2019. Ascena, parent of Lane Bryant and Ann Taylor, has already closed 71 stores since the beginning of the year.
Other retail chains joined in on a rally. J.C. Penney Company Inc. (JCP) - Get Report , Kohl's Corp. (KSS) - Get Report , Macy's Inc. (M) - Get Report , Sears Holding Corp. (SHLD) , and Dillard's Inc. (DDS) - Get Report were all higher. The S&P Retail SPDR ETF (XRT) - Get Report added 0.6%.
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