Nasdaq closes lower for a second day as Amazon, Netflix shares drop

  • The tech-heavy index fell 0.8 percent as Amazon, Netflix and Apple pulled back 4.4 percent, 4.9 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.
  • Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average also closed lower.
  • "Big Tech is no longer a sleek, elegant black box; it is a jumble of wires that requires the constant intervention of an increasing number of humans to keep it on the rails," wrote Nicholas Colas of DataTrek Research.

The Nasdaq composite closed lower for a second straight day on Wednesday as technology stocks failed to recover from steep losses seen in the previous session.

The tech-heavy index fell 0.8 percent to 6,949.23 as Amazon, Netflix and Apple pulled back 4.4 percent, 4.9 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. At its session high, the Nasdaq rose as much as 0.4 percent.

Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average also closed lower. The S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent to 2,605 as technology declined 0.9 percent. The Dow closed 9.29 points lower at 23,848.42 after trading in a wide range. At its session high, the 30-stock index rose as much as 234.76 points and fell 129.04 points at is low of the day.

Amazon fell after Axios reported that President Donald Trump was "obsessed" with the company. The report also said Trump wants to "go after" Amazon. Amazon's stock traded 3 percent lower in afternoon trade.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday: "We have no announcements and no specific policies or actions that we're currently pushing forward [now on Amazon]."

Apple declined after Goldman Sachs analysts predicted lower iPhone sales in March and for the June quarter than the rest of the Street. They also cut their price target on the stock to $159 from $161.

Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the opening bell.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the opening bell.

The Technology Select Sector SPDR fund (XLK) briefly dipped into correction territory on Wednesday. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) closed more than 10 percent below its 52-week high.

"Tech is driving the news today," said Adam Sarhan, CEO of 50 Park Investments. "What you're seeing is a rotation out of tech and into some of the more fairly and under-valued areas of the market."

Tech fell 3.5 percent on Tuesday, marking its biggest one-day decline since Feb. 8. The move lower in tech sent ripples through the entire stock market as the major averages fell more than 1 percent. The drop in the sector took place after Reuters reported Nvidia is temporarily suspending self-driving tests.

The selling was exacerbated by further pressure on Facebook shares. Reports emerged last week alleging that Cambridge Analytica, an analytics company, had gathered data from 50 million Facebook profiles without users' permission. CNN reported Tuesday that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify in front of Congress on the Cambridge Analytica leak.

"Big Tech is no longer a sleek, elegant black box; it is a jumble of wires that requires the constant intervention of an increasing number of humans to keep it on the rails," Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, said in a note. "In short, the bloom is off the tech rose."

Investors also flocked to traditionally safer assets like bonds, pushing the 10-year Treasury yield below 2.8 percent. On Wednesday, the yield hit its lowest level in seven weeks.

Meantime, investors around the world have been keeping a close eye on global trade issues, debating what economic implications there could be if a trade war occurred between China and the U.S. This comes after Trump signed an executive memorandum that would inflict tariffs on Chinese imports — of up to $60 billion, prompting the Asian nation to retaliate.

In economic news, the U.S. economy grew by 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the final read on the U.S. economy for the period.

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