Stock Market Today: Social Media, Biotech Suffer as Janet Yellen Shares Concerns on Valuation

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Much of the Federal Reserve's report on monetary policy was overlooked on Tuesday with most of the attention focused on Chair Janet Yellen's comments that some sectors of the markets, notably biotech and social media, were overvalued.

In prepared remarks, Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee she saw certain sectors as "substantially stretched," sending shares tumbling. 

The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index ETF  (IBB) slid 2.2% on the remarks, as MannKind (MNKD) dropped 1%, Geron  (GERN) moved 5% lower, and Ariad Pharmaceuticals  (ARIA) was down 5.1%.

Prominent companies in the social media space sold off: Twitter  (TWTR) fell 1.1%, Facebook  (FB) dropped 1.1%, Yelp  (YELP) slid 3% and LinkedIn (LNKD) was down 0.75%.

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Better-than-expected results out of the banking sector is keeping markets' losses pared. The Dow Jones Industrial Average nudged 0.03% higher to 17,060.68, and the S&P 500 slipped 0.19% to 1,973.28. The Nasdaq tumbled 0.54% to 4,416.39, dragged on by losses in biotech and social media names.

JPMorgan (JPM) popped 3.5% after posting second-quarter earnings of $1.46 a share, 17 cents higher than analysts' estimates. Goldman Sachs  (GS) added 1.3% after earnings of $4.10 a share flew past expectations of $3.05.

On the U.S. data front, June retail sales rose less than expected, up 0.2% vs. the average estimate of 0.6%. However, May's reading had been upwardly revised after the initial release, leading to the belief these results could do likewise.

"There's no reason to think this was a final number. It seems like we've been prone to a lot of revisions lately," Voya Investment Management senior market strategist Karyn Cavanaugh told TheStreet, also noting the positive growth still marks a record high in retail sales.

Import prices rose by a smaller-than-forecast 0.1% in June, vs. the 0.3% consensus estimate. The July Empire State Manufacturing Index came in at 25.6 vs. the 17 reading expected by economists.

Reynolds American  (RAI) agreed to acquire Lorillard  (LO) in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $68.88 per Lorillard share, or $27.4 billion. Lorillard and Reynolds American dropped 10.5% and 6.9%, respectively.

Michael Kors (KORS) shares slipped 7.3% after Citigroup lowered its price target due to forecast weakness in its handbag selection.

GoPro (GPRO) surged 13% after JMP Securities initiated coverage of the high-definition camera maker with a market outperform recommendation, saying that the company is a market leader and that its growth can accelerate.

Stocks to watch after the bell include Intel  (INTC) and Yahoo!  (YHOO), both of which are due to release earnings. The chipmaker is forecast by analysts to report second-quarter earnings of 52 cents a share on revenue of $13.69 billion. Wall Street expects Internet company Yahoo! to post second-quarter profit of 38 cents a share on revenue of $1.08 billion.

Tuesday's mixed session follows from healthy gains achieved over Monday with the Dow closing well above the psychological threshold of 17,000, a level it had dipped below after European markets sold off last week.

-- Written by Keris Alison Lahiff and Andrea Tse in New York 

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