Tech-Heavy Nasdaq Continues To Underperform In Mid-Day Trading

After coming under pressure early in the session, stocks remain mostly lower in mid-day trading on Monday. The major averages are all stuck in negative territory, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting a particularly steep loss.

Currently, the Nasdaq continues to underperform its counterparts by a wide margin. While the Nasdaq is down 93.24 points or 1.2 percent at 7,723.05, the Dow is down 71.69 points or 0.3 percent at 25,692.31 and the S&P 500 is down 13.22 points or 0.5 percent at 2,846.31.

The early weakness on Wall Street came amid ongoing concerns about the escalating U.S.-China trade dispute after Google suspended some of its business with Chinese tech giant Huawei.

Google has cut Huawei off from business involving the transfer of hardware, software and technical services, complying with an order by President Donald Trump blocking the sale or transfer of U.S. technology to Huawei.

“We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” a Google spokesperson said, noting services such as Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices.

The blow to Huawei added to trade concerns sparked by last Friday’s report from CNBC saying the scheduling of the next round of U.S.-China trade talks is “in flux” because it is unclear what the two sides would discuss.

Two sources briefed on the status of trade talks told CNBC discussions regarding scheduling the next round of talks have not taken place since Trump signed an executive order ramping up scrutiny of Chinese telecom companies.

Selling pressure waned shortly after the start of trading, however, with a lack of major U.S. economic data may keeping some traders on the sidelines.

Reports on new and existing home sales and durable goods orders are likely to attract attention in the coming days along with the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.

Sector News

Semiconductor stocks continue to see substantial weakness in mid-day trading, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index plunging by 3 percent to its lowest intraday level in over two months.

The weakness in the sector comes after a report from Bloomberg said chipmakers Intel (INTC), Xilinx (XLNX), and Qualcomm (QCOM) told employees they will not supply Huawei until further notice.

Significant weakness is also visible among computer hardware stocks, as reflected by the 1.5 percent slump by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index.

Biotechnology and commercial real estate stocks are also seeing notable weakness, while telecom stocks have shown a strong move to the upside on the day.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K’.s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index tumbled by 1.5 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved slightly lower over the course of the session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1 basis point at 2.403 percent.

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