Tech stocks under siege as Fed's Powell heads to Capitol Hill

Investors selling tech stocks a ‘major mistake’: Investment executive

BMO Capital Markets chief strategist Brian Belski evaluates the future of the markets.

U.S. equity markets were lower Tuesday with Big Tech under pressure for a second straight session as traders grapple with the possibility of looming inflation as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell readies for two days of Congressional testimony.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX13201.351663-331.70-2.45%
SP500S&P 5003840.97-35.53-0.92%
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES31407.18-114.51-0.36%
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The Nasdaq Composite dipped over 2% extending declines from Monday which hit the lowest level since Feb. 1. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 77 points, or 0.24%, in the opening minutes of trading while the S&P 500 fell by 0.88%.

Powell, who is set to appear before the Senate and House committees over consecutive days, will seek to map out the Fed’s course for how it plans to deal with the reopening of the economy and any inflation that may come as a result of the unprecedented amount of fiscal and monetary stimulus that has been injected into the financial system.

Inflation fears have already begun to perk up in the bond market as the benchmark 10-year yield has climbed 46 basis points this year to 1.37%. Some Wall Street strategists worry a move above 1.5% would be troublesome for the stock market.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AMZNAMAZON.COM INC.3,112.01-68.73-2.16%
GOOGLALPHABET INC.2,011.90-42.36-2.06%
AAPLAPPLE INC.123.13-2.87-2.28%
MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.231.34-3.17-1.35%
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In stocks, trillion-dollar companies Amazon Inc., Alphabet Inc., Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. remained in the crosshairs for a second day.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TSLATESLA INC.654.37-60.13-8.42%
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Elsewhere, Tesla Inc. shares were on the verge of a bear market after closing the prior session 19% below their January peak. The majority of those losses have come over the past two sessions as bitcoin has sold off sharply. Tesla earlier this month announced a $1.5 billion investment in the cryptocurrency but is still ahead on its purchases.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
HDTHE HOME DEPOT INC.264.32-11.81-4.28%
MMACY’S INC.14.78-0.50-3.27%
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In earnings, Home Depot Inc. posted earnings and revenue that were ahead of Wall Street estimates but did not provide an outlook due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the impact on consumer spending.

Macy’s Inc. reported same-store sales slumped 17% from a year ago, but the retailer still managed to post its only quarterly profit in fiscal year 2020. The department store chain forecast sales in the current year that were ahead of analyst expectations.

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Meanwhile, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. gained after New York City said movie theaters could open at 25% capacity beginning Mar. 5.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil lost 25 cents to $61.45 per barrel and gold slid $2.60 to $1,807 an ounce.


European markets were trading mixed with France’s CAC 40 up 0.06%, Britain’s FTSE 100 weaker by 0.12% and Germany’s DAX 30 lower by 1.02%.

In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 0.17%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.46% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 1.03%.

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