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Wednesday, Jul 06, 2022

Dow falls nearly 165 points, but tech stocks make a huge comeback

Dow falls nearly 165 points, but tech stocks make a huge comeback

For some time, many investing experts have been predicting there will be a shift away from big tech towards value stocks. It might finally be happening - although tech stocks may not go down without a fight.

The broader market fell Monday: The Dow dropped by about 163 points, or 0.5%, while the S&P 500 fell 0.1%. Both indexes closed well off their lows for the day, however. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq managed to end the day with a slight gain, a significant turnaround after falling more than 2% at one point Monday.

Growth stocks in particular have been pummeled so far this year due to fears about inflation slowing the economy.

The so-called FAANG stocks — Facebook owner Meta Platforms (FB), Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Google owner Alphabet (GOOGL) — are all in the red for 2022. So are Microsoft (MSFT) and chip giant Nvidia (NVDA) while Elon Musk's Tesla (TSLA) is flat.

The Nasdaq is now 8% below its recent all-time high, putting it in danger of falling into a correction, defined as 10% lower than its most recent peak. The Dow and S&P 500 are each about 3% below their peak levels.

The SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 Growth (SPYG) ETF is down 4% already in 2022 while the iShares Russell 2000 Growth (IWO) ETF, which owns shares of smaller growth stocks, has plunged 6.6% since the start of the year.

"If the first week of the year is any indication of what to expect over the coming months, investors will have to be nimble in 2022, and be aware of any outsize exposure they may have to growth stocks," said Solita Marcelli, chief investment officer of the Americas at UBS Global Wealth Management, in a report Monday.

It's worth noting that two key value sectors, financial stocks and oil firms, are thriving.

The Invesco KBW Bank (KBWB) ETF was flat Monday and is up 10% this year. Banks are beneficiaries of higher interest rates because it makes lending more profitable.

The yield on the benchmark US 10-year Treasury bond rose to its highest level since January 2020, briefly topping the 1.8% level.

Investors will be eager to see what megabanks JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC) say about higher bond yields when they report earnings on Friday.

And the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) ETF, which owns Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP) and other oil giants, is up 10% this year as crude prices have risen from about $72 a barrel to $78 in the past month.

So not all sectors will be hurt by inflation, and it appears that savvy investors are starting to make changes to their portfolios as the big winners of the bull run during the past few years are finally starting to lose their luster.

"Technology stocks have led the market for most of the past two years," said analysts at the Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Global Investment Committee in a report Monday. They noted that lower interest rates and the work from home trend during the pandemic helped boost techs.

But the prospect of higher rates will be a problem for tech and other growth stocks going forward.

"Global policy tightening has outweighed 1Covid1's estimated toll on economic growth, and tech has begun to underperform," the Morgan Stanley analysts wrote, adding that now is a time when investors should try to actively pick stocks stead of passively relying on the big indexes that are dominated by the tech leaders.

UBS' Marcelli also noted that "valuations for growth companies should compress more rapidly relative to value stocks" as the Fed raises rates.

"And that is exactly what has happened in the first week of the year," she said, adding that "more speculative, very rapidly growing, non-profitable tech companies have fallen even more" than the top techs of the Nasdaq.

Investors also continue to flee cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin (XBT) prices tumbled below $40,000 early Monday before rebounding a bit. Ethereum prices dipped under $3,000 before bouncing back.

Bitcoin has now plunged more than 10% in the past week, while ether has plummeted nearly 20%.

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