Friday December 17th


Stock futures are down as selling in tech stocks continues

U.S. stock index futures were in negative territory early Friday morning as investors sold tech stocks again, a day after losses in the sector dragged down the rest of the market. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 160 points, or 0.5%. S&P 500 futures fell 0.7%. Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 were down the most, shedding 1.2%. On Thursday, the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite fell 2.47% for its worst day since September. The other averages saw more modest losses. The Dow fell 0.08%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.87%. The moves reversed a rally in Wednesday’s session that followed the Federal Reserve’s announcement of a more aggressive plan to wind down its asset purchases, and that it is looking at hiking rates multiple times in 2022. As investors continued to digest the Fed news, as well as the impact of both rising inflation and the spread of the omicron Covid variant, they appeared to be rotating from high-growth tech names to consumer staples. “As the Federal Reserve turns more hawkish and expectations for higher interest rates rise, investors are lowering exposure to growth stocks,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group. “Typically, growth stocks exhibit a higher duration compared to value stocks because a higher proportion of their cash flows will be received in the more distant future.” Shares of one-time EV darling Rivian lost 10% in premarket trading Friday after the truck maker said it will fall short of its 2021 production target. Elsewhere in the tech sector, Nvidia lost nearly 2% in premarket trading, adding to its 6% loss on the week. Tesla shares were down another 1%, adding to their 9% loss on the week. FedEx shares jumped 5% after quarterly earnings and revenue results topped expectations and it announced a $5 billion buyback. The shipper also reinstated its original 2022 EPS forecast. The market is divided on the week with the Nasdaq Composite down 2.9%, while the S&P 500 is off by 0.9% and the Dow has shed just 0.2%. Bank stocks were in the green again a bit in early trading Friday. They were among the biggest gainers on Thursday and are higher for the week. Bank of America and Wells Fargo added more than 2%. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan rose more than 1%. Shares of Verizon jumped more than 4% as one of the top performers in the Dow. Weekly jobless claims came in slightly higher than expected Thursday, and housing starts for November were stronger than economists projected after declining in the prior month. On Friday, Darden Restaurants and Winnebago are scheduled to report quarterly earnings results before the bell. Asia-Pacific markets traded mostly lower on Friday, following overnight losses on Wall Street, as investors assessed monetary policy decisions from two key central banks. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.79% to close at 28,545.68, while the Topix index was down 1.42% to 1,984.47. Chinese mainland shares also tumbled, with the Shanghai composite falling 1.16% to close at 3,632.36 while the Shenzhen component shed 1.62% to 14,867.55. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index tumbled 1.14% while the tech-focused Hang Seng Tech Index dropped 2.37%. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.38% to close at 3,017.73. Oil prices dipped on Friday, putting the market on track for a weekly loss, as surging cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant raised fears new curbs may hit fuel demand. Brent crude futures fell $1.14, or 1.5%, to $73.88 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped $1.11, or 1.5%, to $71.27 a barrel. Brent and WTI are both headed for a 1.4% loss this week. Gold prices were flat on Friday, but on track for their best week since mid-November as the dollar weakened after the U.S. Federal Reserve decided to withdraw its pandemic-era stimulus, making bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies. Spot gold was flat at $1,797.47 per ounce, as of 0042 GMT. U.S. gold futures edged up 0.1% to $1,799.80. The precious metal was set for its first weekly gain in five, up 0.8%.