Stocks fell to session lows on Monday as investors found little reason to buy with no good news to turn around sentiment since Friday's big selloff.
The S&P 500 was down 2.1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 2.1%, and the Nasdaq fell 2.7%.
U.S. stocks on Friday ended lower in a brutal end to the week as equities entered another tailspin on a laundry list of worries. Whether it was oil, the health of the U.S. economy, or a series of weaker earnings across a number of sectors, investors had more than enough to push them into panic mode. A number of disappointing earnings in tech, including Apple (AAPL) and LinkedIn (LNKD) , have pressured the sector.
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High-momentum tech stocks were among the worst performers on Monday. Industry giants Amazon (AMZN) , Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOGL) traded lower, while the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) slid 2.5%.
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"The bottom line is even after Friday's selloff, the market is vulnerable to another period of heightened volatility, following a negative reaction to Friday's employment data, standard expiration less than two weeks away, and the CBOE Market Volatility Index ... pushing higher near the 23.90 area -- double last year's low," Todd Salamone, senior vice president of research at Schaeffer's Investment Research, wrote in a note.
Sixty-five S&P 500 companies are set to report earnings this week, including 21st Century Fox (FOXA) after the bell Monday. So far this earnings season, 72% of earnings reports have beaten profit estimates, while sales have only beat 48% of the time. Blended earnings have fallen 3.8% so far this season, dragged on by the energy sector.
Uncertainty over the Federal Reserve's rate hike plans also contributed to downward momentum. Investors are concerned that the Fed will move forward with additional rate hikes following December's move even as the economy shows signs of weakness. Fed Chair Janet Yellen's semi-annual testimony to Congress on Wednesday and Thursday will be closely watched for hints on the central bank's future plans.
"The markets will have their ear to the ground to listen for any clues as to whether Yellen still sees March as the correct timing for the next rate hike," said Chuck Butler, managing director of EverBank Global Markets. "She'll have all of the markets' attention, as the data cupboard is light this week and we have to wait until Friday to see January's retail sales."
Crude oil struggled to hold above $30 a barrel on Monday as oversupply concerns and weaker global growth kept commodity traders at bay. The fresh selloff comes after a meeting between Saudi Arabia and Venezuela over the weekend to discuss possible coordination to cut production, though no future steps were announced to address the problem. West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down 1.5% to $30.43 a barrel on Monday morning. Prices have fallen 21% since the beginning of the year.
Chesapeake Energy (CHK) said it had no plans for bankruptcy after news broke it had hired restructuring attorneys. The oil company said Kirkland & Ellis had been advising it since 2010 and continued to provide guidance on its balance sheet. Shares slumped 50% on Monday.
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX) tanked 67% after reporting disappointing mid-stage study results for a highly anticipated drug. The treatment hoped to treat hereditary angioedema attacks, a rare genetic condition that restricts breathing.
Apollo Education Group (APOL) surged 25% on news the company will be taken private by a group of investors. The go-private deal is worth $1.1 billion and values Apollo at a 30% premium above its 30-day average. Tony Miller, CEO of investing company Vistria Group, will become chairman of the board once the deal closes.
Loews (L) fell 7% after swinging to a quarterly loss in the fourth quarter, dragged on by weaker revenue in insurance premiums. Insurance unit CNA Financial Corp., Loew's largest sales contributor, also took down a one-time $178 million charge tied to its long-term care business.
Hasbro (HAS) was flat after a better-than-expected quarter driven by sales of its Star Wars and Jurassic World product lines. The toymaker earned $1.39 a share, 9 cents above estimates, while revenue of $1.47 billion exceeded estimates of $1.37 billion.