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Stocks in Retreat as US Tax Reform Bill, Tech Sector Slide Weighs

12:26 PM, Nov 9, 2017 — Markets in the US were weaker on Thursday, as declines in information technology pushed the Nasdaq Composite to its lowest intraday level in almost as week and nearly all of the sectors on the Standard & Poor’s 500 were in the red.

Stocks added to losses amid early afternoon reports that the Senate’s tax reform bill would push a cut in corporate taxes out to 2019, according to CNBC, contrasting the policy currently being considered by the House. Financials steepened their declines, with the group down about 1% on the S&P 500.

The tech sector lost 1.1% with semiconductor stocks losing ground. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) shed 3.8% after Intel (INTC) said it had hired Raja Koduri as chief architect and senior vice president of its new core and visual computing group. Koduri was previously at AMD and has also worked at Apple (AAPL).

Intel slipped 1.4% on the sector’s weakness, while NVIDIA (NVDA) lost 2.9% and Micron Technologies (MU) was down 2.3%.

A sharp drop in building products firms sent the industrials sector down 1.3% while energy weakened even amid higher prices for crude futures.

In company news, Roku (ROKU) surged 43% after third quarter sales beat estimates and the pro-forma loss per share narrowed from a year ago. NetApp (NTAP) gained 3.3% after Barclays raised its rating on the stock to overweight from equal weight.

Alliqua BioMedical (ALQA) plunged 24% after the company said it hired Cowen to assist in a review of potential strategic alternatives. Snap (SNAP) dropped 4% after Morgan Stanley lowered its shares to underweight from equal weight.

In economic news, initial jobless claims bounced by 10,000 to 239,000 in the week of Nov. 4 after falling 5,000 to 229,000 in the prior week. Wholesale trade inventories were up 0.3%, matching the consensus on Econoday although slower than the prior month’s revised 0.8% increase.

In early afternoon trading, the Nasdaq dropped 1.2% while the Dow and the S&P 500 lost 0.9%.

Globally, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.2%, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.4%, the Hang Seng climbed 0.8% and the FTSE 100 lost 0.6%.

 

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