Megacap tech stocks drop dramatically
The Dow Jones Industrial Average maintained gains after earlier notching an intraday record on Wednesday, but a selloff in megacap technology shares, such as Facebook Inc., Apple Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. weighed on the S&P 500 index and Nasdaq Composite.
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The release of the Beige Book by the Federal Reserve had little impact on the market.
What are the main benchmarks doing?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 95 points, or 0.4%, to 23,932, setting an intraday record.
The S&P 500 index edged down 2.2 points to 2,624 but eight of its 11 main sectors were trading higher. Gains in telecom were offset by a selloff in the technology sector.
The Nasdaq Composite dropped 89 points, or 1.3%, to 6,823 while the closely watched Philly Semiconductor Index sank 3.8%, poised for its worst daily drop since June.
All three benchmarks closed at record highs (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-gathers-strength-for-higher-open-as-traders-brace-for-powell-hearing-2017-11-28) on Tuesday, as progress on a Republican tax overhaul appeared to offset worries about a North Korean missile test.
The three equity indexes have gained between 17% and 28% for the year, boosted by an expanding U.S. economy, rising corporate profits, anemic expected returns for other assets and bets that the Trump administration will deliver on tax cuts and other business-friendly policies.
Read: Goldman says highest valuations since 1900 leave investors in for a world of hurt (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/goldman-says-highest-valuations-since-1900-leave-investors-in-for-a-world-of-hurt-2017-11-29)
What are strategists saying?
"This is a dramatic rotation out of high-octane tech stocks, which is exacerbated by passive flows into index funds," said Ian Winer, head of the equities division at Wedbush Securities.
"Since so many portfolios had the same positions and are rebalancing, what we are seeing is a mini unwind of momentum stocks. It is difficult to say whether it will spill over to the rest of the market at some point," Winer said.
Which stocks look like key movers?
Shares of some of the so-called FAANG stocks were hardest hit. Facebook (FB) fell 3.4%, Amazon.com (AMZN) declined 3%. Apple (AAPL) and Google parent Alphabet Inc.(GOOGL) each fell more than 2%, while Netflix Inc.(NFLX) lost 5.1%.
Shares of NVIDIA Corp.(NVDA) dropped (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nvidias-stock-sinks-toward-biggest-3-day-selloff-in-21-months-2017-11-29) 5.8%.
Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.(CMG) rose 2.5%, touching a 5-week high earlier, after the company announced it's begun the search for a new CEO.
Allergan PLC(AGN) stock gained 3% after analysts at Morgan Stanley analysts upgraded the stock to overweight from equal-weight.
Shares in Autodesk Inc.(ADSK) plunged 17% action for the S&P 500's biggest drop after the software company late Tuesday announced a restructuring plan (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/autodesk-plans-layoffs-stock-plummets-after-earnings-2017-11-28) along with its quarterly earnings.
Movie theater chain Regal Entertainment Group(RGC) rose 5.6% after British counterpart Cineworld Group PLC(CINE.LN) (CINE.LN) said it's in talks to buy the American company for $3.1 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-theater-chain-cineworld-makes-36-billion-bid-for-regal-entertainment-2017-11-28). Regal has confirmed the discussions (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/regal-entertainments-stock-soars-after-confirming-buyout-talks-with-cineworld-2017-11-29).
What are other assets doing?
European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/banks-propel-european-stocks-to-3-week-high-after-powell-hearing-2017-11-29) mostly advanced, while Asian markets closed mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stocks-in-china-hong-kong-continue-to-fade-2017-11-28). Oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-fall-after-us-inventory-reading-shows-surprise-spike-2017-11-29) fell after an American Petroleum Institute release indicated a surprise increase in U.S. crude supplies.
Gold futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-pulls-back-from-one-week-highs-as-dollar-index-tips-higher-2017-11-29) traded higher and a key U.S. dollar index () was little changed, but the buck was dropping in particular against the British pound as reports signaled progress in the Brexit negotiations.
See:Why the Korean won is shrugging off missile worries to trade near a 2 1/2 -year high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-why-the-korean-won-is-shrugging-off-missile-worries-to-trade-near-2-12-year-high-2017-11-28)
What could help drive the market?
The Fed has detected "a slight improvement in the outlook" (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-beige-book-says-inflation-pressures-have-strengthened-2017-11-29-14103557) among contacts in its 12 districts with growth remaining at "a modest to moderate pace," according to the Beige Book. The central bank has also witnessed strengthening in Inflation pressures over the past month with increases passed on the consumers. The Fed's assessment of the economy is in line with recent data and Chairwoman Janet Yellen's upbeat view presented to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress earlier Wednesday.
See: Live blog of Janet Yellen's last hearing before Congress (http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2017/11/29/live-blog-of-janet-yellens-last-hearing-before-congress/)
Traders will be tracking progress on a U.S. tax overhaul after the Senate Budget Committee on Tuesday voted 12-11 to advance a Republican tax bill. A full Senate vote could be held as early as Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/senate-budget-committee-advances-republican-tax-bill-on-party-lines-2017-11-28).
In economic news, the U.S. economy's pace of growth in the third quarter was raised to 3.3% from 3% under the government's latest revision to gross domestic product. The rise was in line with expectations.
Pending-home sales jumped 3.5% in October, but remained 0.6% lower than a year ago. T
Victor Reklaitis contributed to this report.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 29, 2017 14:40 ET (19:40 GMT)