The two biggest losers on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were big tech companies that have been high-flyers this year and are now under the market's proverbial microscope.
Stocks were largely down Thursday, with U.S. growth tech stocks, which had popped to begin the week on an apparent buy-the-dip move, weaker. The Nasdaq fell as much as 1.4% Thursday afternoon. Most cyclical sectors were down, with consumer discretionary showing the most strength, up 0.9% in the morning and up 0.3% by the afternoon. Employment and inflation data showed mixed signals, with the producer price index rise 0.3% for August coming in better than economist's expectations of 0.2%. The speed of the economic recovery is in question as of the recently mixed data from the past few weeks.
There were some hints of optimism in the equity market Thursday among consumer cyclicals. Nike NKE rose more than 1% in the morning and 0.2% by the afternoon after a price target bump from analysts at Wedbush Securities and the number of sector gainers on the day was strong. By midday, S&P 500 gainers led losers by a 5-4 ratio, according to NYSE data. That may have moderated some by the late afternoon, as the selling worsened across sectors.There were 5 (of 30) Dow stocks in the green by 2 pm EDT.
The Dow, now slightly more weighted towards new-age tech, aerospace and biotech stocks, but still a solid representation of the "old economy," fell 1%.
Here were the five biggest Dow losers Thursday by just after 2 pm EDT:
Apple AAPL: -2.99%
Microsoft MSFT: -2.6%
Caterpillar CAT: -2.1%
Amgen AMGN: -1.9%
Walgreens WBA: -1.9%
Apple's 5G business is expected to be strong in 2021, helping drive solid revenue growth, but its stay-at-home-oriented businesses like the app store and streaming may be overvalued. The stock, which ran up furiously in the middle of 2020, entered correction territory, then bounced this week from that dip and is now down again. Investors seem to be in somewhat of a re-rating process on tech valuations, as demand for at-home services may have been massively pulled forward from later years during the Covid shutdowns.
Microsoft, a leader in enterprise and consumer cloud offerings, is in the same boat.