Wall St slides as Huawei fallout hits tech shares

US stocks slid on Monday as the White House’s restrictions on Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies weighed on the technology sector and raised concerns that the move would further inflame trade tensions between the United States and China.

Read: Huawei ban ricochets across European stocks as trade woes return

Since the White House added Huawei to a trade blacklist last week, several companies have suspended business with the world’s largest telecom equipment maker. Alphabet’s Google has moved to stop providing Huawei with access to its proprietary apps and services, Reuters reported on Sunday. Mobile phone parts producer Lumentum Holdings also announced that it has discontinued shipments to Huawei.

Other chipmakers, including Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx and Broadcom, will not supply the Chinese company until further notice, according to a Bloomberg report.

S&P 500 technology stocks dropped 1.75%, the largest percentage decline among the benchmark index’s 11 major sectors. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, which includes Huawei suppliers Qualcomm, Broadcom and Micron Technology, tumbled 4% to hit its lowest level in more than two months.

Shares of Apple slumped 3.1%, making them the biggest drag on Wall Street’s major indexes. The iPhone maker’s shares were also pressured after HSBC warned that higher prices for the company’s products following the latest increases in tariffs could have “dire consequences” on demand.

“The political risk now has become a business risk,” said Chad Morganlander, senior portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors in Florham Park, New Jersey. “This could affect in a meaningful way earnings expectations for many tech names.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 84.1 points, or 0.33%, to 25 679.9, the S&P 500 lost 19.3 points, or 0.67%, to 2 840.23, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 113.91 points, or 1.46%, to 7 702.38.

After touching record highs at the beginning of May, Wall Street’s main indexes have succumbed to selling pressure on mounting concerns about a prolonged US-China trade war. The S&P 500 is on track to post its worst monthly decline since the December sell-off, trading nearly 4% below its all-time high.

“The further the trade war goes, the more escalation keeps happening,” said Matt Watson, portfolio manager at James Investment Research in Alpha, Ohio. “We’re not going in and trying to do a lot of buying at this point.”

Among gainers, shares of Sprint and T-Mobile US rose after Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai came out in favour of the merger of the two telecom companies. Sprint and T-Mobile pared gains, however, after Bloomberg reported that the US Department of Justice was leaning against approving the deal.

Still, Sprint shares ended 18.8% higher while T-Mobile shares rose 3.9%.

Dish Network shares declined 5.9% after the company said it would buy broadcast satellite service assets from EchoStar in an $800 million deal, though the shares pared losses in afternoon trading.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.03-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.81-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 25 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 35 new highs and 152 new lows.

Volume on US exchanges was 6.4 billion shares, compared to the 7.01 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Source: moneyweb.co.za