MARKET SNAPSHOT: Tech Stocks Look Poised To Resume Selloff As U.S. Equity Futures Decline

By Barbara Kollmeyer and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

European and Asian markets lose ground

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U.S. stock futures on Wednesday pointed to losses at the open, with the tech sector again under pressure.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell by 43 points, or 0.2%, to 24,132, while S&P 500 futures dipped by 3.05 points, or 0.1%, to 2,625.25. Futures for the tech-laden Nasdaq-100 lost 29.25 points, or 0.5%, to 6,242.50.

On Tuesday, the Dow closed lower by 109 points (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-looks-on-track-for-another-record-while-nasdaq-appears-set-to-fall-again-2017-12-05), or 0.5%, as the S&P and Nasdaq Composite both suffered modest losses, falling for a third-straight session.

Tech-heavy benchmarks such as the Nasdaq Composite, down 1.3% for the week, have seen the most selling in recent sessions, with analysts blaming profit taking after big gains (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/brace-for-more-tech-pain-and-more-cheer-for-the-stock-markets-sad-sacks-2017-11-30), as well as worries over the possible retention of a corporate alternative minimum tax as the U.S. overhauls its tax system. Keeping the corporate AMT could hit tech companies harder than others.

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See: Here's how violent the stock-market rotation out of tech has been (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-how-violent-the-stock-market-rotation-out-of-tech-has-been-2017-12-05)

The main equity gauges still are showing sizable gains for the year, with the Dow up 22%, the S&P higher by 17% and the Nasdaq up 26%.

Read more:Risks 'high and rising' for big drop in stocks, bonds, says government watchdog (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-risks-from-a-big-stock-or-bond-market-drop-are-high-and-rising-government-watchdog-says-2017-12-05)

What could help move markets?

The retention of the corporate alternative minimum tax in the Senate version of the Republicans' tax bill has been seen as a factor in tech-stock selling. The House's bill repealed the corporate AMT, but in a last-minute switch before passing its bill early Saturday morning, the Senate decided to keep the provision.

Read:Here's why the corporate AMT is a hurdle to a final tax bill (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-why-the-corporate-amt-is-a-hurdle-to-a-final-tax-bill-2017-12-05)

On the data front, ADP's November report on private-sector jobs is due at 8:15 a.m. Eastern Time, helping to whet investor appetite for the government's nonfarm-payrolls release due Friday.

At 8:30 a.m. Eastern, a release on productivity and labor costs is scheduled to arrive, with economists polled by MarketWatch forecasting rises of 3.3% and 0.2%, respectively.

What are strategists saying?

"Though it is still far beyond 20-, 50- and 200-day moving averages and one robust headline away from record highs, the S&P 500 has nonetheless closed with three consecutive daily losses. That is significant, as we haven't seen a series of bearish days this long since August 10," said John Kicklighter, chief currency strategist at DailyFX.

"The corporate alternative minimum Tax (AMT) was cited as another factor contributing to the weakness in the technology sector yesterday," noted Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading.

"The argument has been made that the corporate tax rate needs to be reduced from 35% to 20% in order to make U.S. companies competitive, but the insertion of a 20% corporate AMT was enough to mildly upset markets and send K Street into panic mode," O'Rourke said in a note, referring to the street in Washington, D.C., where many of Corporate America's lobbyists have set up shop.

What are other assets doing?

European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-on-course-for-2nd-losing-session-with-tech-knocked-down-2017-12-06) were dropping for a second day in a row, while falls for tech and mining shares drove losses across Asia markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asia-pacific-markets-drop-on-weakness-in-tech-mining-sectors-2017-12-05) .

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was edging lower, while gold futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-climbs-from-4-month-low-helped-by-geopolitical-worries-2017-12-06) were rallying from a four-month low. Oil futures were losing ground.

Bitcoin moved further above $12,000 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-hitting-new-records-tops-200-billion-in-market-capitalization-2017-12-05) Wednesday, last trading around $12,700.

Which individual stocks look set for big moves?

Shares in Google parent Alphabet Inc.(GOOGL) (GOOGL) and e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc.(AMZN) dipped by less than 1% in premarket trading following news that Google had pulled YouTube from Amazon streaming devices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/google-pulls-youtube-from-amazon-streaming-devices-2017-12-05).

Jack Daniel's whisky parent Brown-Forman Corp.(BFA) is likely to see active trading as it's among the companies on the earnings docket before the open.

United Parcel Service Inc.(UPS) could come under pressure after the shipping giant warned about delivery delays (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ups-warns-of-some-delivery-delays-amid-online-shopping-surge-2017-12-05).

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 06, 2017 06:46 ET (11:46 GMT)