U.S. stocks fell for a second day on Tuesday as the rotation out of relatively higher-priced technology stocks intensified.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 2%. The S&P 500 traded 1.1% lower, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 300 points.
Big Tech stocks were all in the red once again Tuesday. Apple dropped more than 2%, while Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon were all down more than 1%.
Tesla shares, the poster boy for growth stocks with lofty valuations and expectations, fell nearly 4%. A Reuters report that the electric carmaker halted plans to expand its Shanghai plant into an export hub, also aided the decline.
“It was an intensification and acceleration in money rotating towards sectors that are more exposed to 1) An economic reflation (so cyclicals) and 2) Rising inflation,” Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report, said in a note.
Tech shares, which were the biggest pandemic winners, fell out of favor earlier this year as fears of inflation and higher interest rates crept up. Growth-oriented companies tend to get hit hard by rising rates as they erode the value of their future earnings.
The latest headlines including a labor shortage as well as a jump in Consumer Price Index in March helped fuel inflation worries and accelerate selling of tech shares.
Big Tech got clobbered on Monday as investors exited stocks like Apple and Microsoft, dragging the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 off their record highs in the process. Both of those stocks lost at least 2% to start the week.
The Nasdaq Composite suffered the worse of the selling and fell 2.5%, finishing the day at its session low on Monday. Facebook lost more than 4%, while Amazon and Netflix both dropped over 3%. Alphabet dipped more than 2% after a downgrade by Citigroup. Cathie Wood’s Ark Innovation ETF fell 5% to its lowest level since November as Tesla, its top holding, shed more than 6%.
The ARK Innovation ETF was down another 4% in premarket trading Tuesday.
The market is divided in May with the Nasdaq Composite down 4% and the Dow up 2.5% as investors rotate away from growth shares with relatively high valuations into value stocks that will benefit from the economy reopening from the pandemic and higher inflation.
The Technology Select SPDR (XLK) is down 3% so far in May, the worst of any of the market sectors. The XLK was down another 2% Tuesday.
The broader S&P 500 has managed to remain barely in the green for May amid this market rotation, but it may lose that gain if the tech selling intensifies and value stocks don’t pick up the slack.
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