Stocks Close Lower as Chipmakers Slump Following Huawei Ban
Stocks closed lower on Wall Street Monday as technology stocks suffered steep declines and more in Monday’s Daily Stock Market Update.
The stock market has turned lower in May amid heightened tensions over trade between the U.S. and China. In the latest turn, the Trump administration is cracking down on Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Companies that supply technology to Huawei fell, with Broadcom and Qualcomm each falling 5.9%.
The Huawei ban is also adding more anxiety to a market worried about further escalations in the trade war between the U.S. and China. Both sides have gone back and forth raising additional tariffs on each other’s goods. The uncertainty is putting a dent in investor confidence and has pushed stocks lower the last two weeks.
“The news that has filtered out of the (Trump) administration is that talks have stalled,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. “Nonetheless, the market has held up fairly well given the desire by the market to see a deal consummated.”
Apple fell 3.1% Monday and was the biggest drag on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, slid 2.0% after it indicated that it would have to cut some features on Huawei smartphones. Other communications stocks moved lower. Facebook dropped 1.3% and Comcast gave up 1.7%.
Consumer-focused stocks also fell. Starbucks was among the big decliners, shedding 2.8%.
American Airlines had the steepest decline among major airlines after Morgan Stanley warned that it faces higher labor costs on top of higher fuel costs. The stock was down 2.4%.
T-Mobile and Sprint gained on hopes that an expected favorable regulatory decision will speed up their $26.5 billion merger.
Utilities eked out gains as investors looked for less-risky holdings. Utilities typically benefit when investors are concerned about a slowdown in economic growth and want to put their money into safer holdings.
Companies are nearing the end of the latest earnings season. The results have not been as bad as Wall Street feared, with profit in the broad S&P 500 index contracting less than 1%. Home repair and supplies behemoth Home Depot will report its quarterly results Tuesday and retail giant Target will report results Wednesday.
DAILY STOCK MARKET UPDATE
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 19 points, or 0.7%, to 2,840. The Dow slid 84 points, or 0.3%, to 25,679. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 113 points, or 1.5%, to 7,702. The yield on the 10 year Treasury rose to 2.41%.
Major stock indexes in Europe closed broadly lower.
GOOD CONNECTION: T-Mobile and Sprint appear closer to completing a merger after the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said he plans to recommend approval of the deal. The full commission must still vote, and the Justice Department must also clear the deal.
T-Mobile climbed 3.8% and Sprint surged 18.7%.
The deal would position the companies to deploy a 5G network that would cover 97% of the U.S. population within three years of the closing of the merger and 99% of Americans within six years.
CHIPPED SALES PROSPECTS: Chipmakers fell broadly as the sector deals with the fallout from the U.S. ban on technology sales to Huawei.
The U.S. government says that Chinese suppliers, including Huawei and its smaller rival, ZTE Corp., pose an espionage threat because they are beholden to China’s ruling Communist Party.
Qualcomm, which gets about 65% of its revenue from China, slumped 5.9%. Broadcom, which gets nearly half of its revenue from China, fell 5.9%. Intel dropped 2.9% and Xilinx slid 3.5%.
SPARKING CONCERN: Tesla fell 2.6% after an analyst at WedBush said there seems to be mixed signals on demand for the electric car maker’s Model 3, which could make it harder for the company to turn a profit in the next couple of quarters and beyond.
In the client note Monday, Daniel Ives kept his “Neutral” rating on the stock, but lowered his price target to $230 from $275.
Tesla shares are down 50 percent since September, with concerns about demand for its Model 3 in the U.S. at the forefront. The company lost $702.1 million in the first quarter, among its worst quarters in two years, as sales tumbled 31%. CEO Elon Musk predicted another loss in the second quarter but said Tesla would be profitable again by the third quarter.
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