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Stocks Showing Significant Move To The Downside - U.S. Commentary


Following the lackluster performance seen last Friday, stocks have moved significantly lower in morning trading on Monday. The major averages have slid firmly into negative territory, adding to last week's steep losses.

In recent trading, the major averages have fallen to new lows for the session. The Dow is down 257.18 points or 1 percent at 25,156.04, the Nasdaq is down 139.09 points or 1.9 percent at 7,108.78 and the S&P 500 is down 27.02 points or 1 percent at 2,709.25.

Lingering concerns about the outlook for the global economy have generated selling pressure along with uncertainty about the potential for a trade deal between the U.S. and China.

At the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit over the weekend, Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. would not back down until China changes its ways.

The stark warning dampened investor hopes for a thaw in U.S.-Chinese trade relations ahead of the G20 summit later this month in Argentina.

A pullback by shares of Apple (AAPL) is also weighing on the markets, with the tech giant slumping by 3.2 percent after moving higher over the two previous sessions.

The steep drop by Apple comes after the Wall Street Journal said the company slashed production orders for all three of the iPhone models that were unveiled in September.

Negative sentiment was also generated by a report from the National Association of Home Builders showing a substantial decrease in homebuilder confidence in the month of November.

The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index plunged to 60 in November after inching up by one point to 68 in October. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 67.

With the much bigger than expected decrease, the housing market index dropped to its lowest level since hitting 59 in August of 2016.

"Builders report that they continue to see signs of consumer demand for new homes but that customers are taking a pause due to concerns over rising interest rates and home prices," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

Technology stocks have moved sharply lower in morning trading, contributing to the steep drop by the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Software, computer hardware, and semiconductor stocks are turning in some of the sector's worst performances.

Considerable weakness has also emerged among retail stocks, as reflected by the 2 percent drop by the Dow Jones Retail Index.

Biotechnology and steel stocks are also seeing notable weakness, while gold stocks are among the few groups bucking the downtrend.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index both advanced by 0.7 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 0.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are down by 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing modest strength amid the sell-off on Wall Street. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.1 basis points at 3.063 percent.

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