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Cowen expert: Here’s what’s troubling tech

The Nasdaq has been a major laggard this week, dropping 3 percent as the S&P 500 fell less than 1 percent and the Dow Jones industrial average has been nearly flat. And at this point, David Seaburg, the head of equity sales trading at Cowen & Co., says he doesn't know just what will end the selling.

"We are definitely seeing people sell a lot of names here. It is institutional selling on the desk," Seasburg said on Thursday's episode of "Futures Now." "I don't know who the incremental buyer is going to be when things really do start to pick up again."

The problem started when investors began to flee from high-beta momentum stocks.

"You're seeing a lot of the bigger high-beta names really being pushed down," Seaburg said. "We've seen a rotation out of the high-beta names into the high-value names, and it's been a clear rotation on our desk."

Then the results and guidance from Accenture, a major consulting and IT company, changed the outlook for larger tech companies. While the earnings results were weak, Accenture increased guidance, which some saw as a warning sign.

A trader speaks on the phone on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.
Scott Eelis | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A trader speaks on the phone on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.

"What throws a monkey wrench into investors' mentality today is watching Accenture come out with their guidance—their earnings guidance being modestly higher, but their booking guidance being much better," Seaburg said.

That introduced "concern about a back-end-loaded '14. So that changes the way people are perceiving these more value names or 'big ugly' names within tech that they're putting money into."

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At this point, Seaburg isn't overly concerned about the trends that he's seeing.

"It's consolidation, that's what it is. I don't want to paint a picture, under any circumstances, that this is any mass exodus out of technology or massive change in sentiment in the sector," he said. "I'm not supernervous here that we're going to see anything melt down."

Still, while he's looking for investors to get back into more value-oriented tech stocks, Seaburg predicted that the momentum names will continue to have trouble.

"I think people are looking for companies that are earnings-driven and that are going to have potential long-term results," he said. "No question that people are getting out of high beta. When does that return? I don't know."

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