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Tech, megacaps drag Wall St lower at start of big market week

2023-01-30T19:21:20Z

Traders work on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., January 27, 2023. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Major U.S. stock indexes fell on Monday, dragged lower by declines in technology and other megacap shares, as investors looked toward a major week of events including central bank meetings and a slew of earnings reports.

The tech sector (.SPLRCT) slumped 1.7%, with most sectors trading lower. Shares of Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Google parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), which are all due to post results later this week, dropped over 1%.

More than 100 S&P 500 companies are expected to report results this week, which also includes central bank meetings in the United States and Europe and closely watched U.S. employment data.

“The market has had a big run and the trading is a bit more cautious heading into a week which likely will be an inflection point for the overall market,” said Keith Lerner, co-chief investment officer at Truist Advisory Services.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 125.11 points, or 0.37%, to 33,852.97, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 38.49 points, or 0.95%, to 4,032.07 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) dropped 184.56 points, or 1.59%, to 11,437.15.

U.S. Treasury yields rose, providing another pressure point for tech shares that have otherwise rebounded to start the year after a rough 2022.

Despite Monday’s declines, the S&P 500 was on track to post its biggest January gain since 2019.

The U.S. central bank is seen hiking the Fed funds rate by 25 basis points at the end of its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, following a 2022 in which the Fed aggressively hiked rates to control soaring inflation.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s news conference will be scrutinized for signs of how high rates may go and how long they could stay elevated. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is expected to deliver another large rate hike on Thursday.

Investors are also focused on earnings reports, amid concerns the economy may be facing a recession. With more than 140 companies having reported so far, S&P 500 earnings are expected to have fallen 3% in the fourth quarter compared with the prior-year period, according to Refinitiv IBES.

In company news, shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) fell over 3% after the healthcare giant’s strategy to use bankruptcy to resolve the multibillion-dollar litigation over claims its talc products cause cancer was rejected by a federal appeals court.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.81-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.73-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted five new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 51 new highs and 14 new lows.