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Nasdaq Slumps as 'Stretched' Valuation Fears, Rising Rates Grip Big Tech

The Nasdaq fell Wednesday, as concerns over "stretched" valuations in big tech were exacerbated by a renewed climb in U.S. interest rates even as data pointed to a wobble in the labor market.  

The Nasdaq Composite fell 2.70%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.30%, or 121 points. The S&P 500 fell 0.68%, and the 

A sea of red hit tech as investors continued to move out of higher-priced growth names that are less attractive in periods of rising rates and inflation during which a dollar today is more worth more than a dollar in the future.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) ended more than 2% lower, while Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was down more than 1%.

The economy has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels, but markets have continued to surge well above 2020 levels, leading to somewhat stretched valuations.   

"We're expecting to get back to 2020 numbers in terms of the economy and earnings, sometime later this year so just looking at it that way. I would say you know we're stretched, but that doesn't mean we can't continue [the upward trend," Sean O'Hara, president of Pacer ETFs, said in an interview with on Wednesday. "I think you're starting to see some cracks in that based on the NASDAQ the last couple of days or last week."  

While tech is having a tough time finding its footing. cyclicals continue to shine.

Energy was up more than 1% on rising oil prices as investors shrugged off a record weekly jump in U.S. weekly crude stocks, attributing the build to lower inventories used to produce products like gasoline following the cold snap that wreaked havoc in oil-rich Texas.

Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ:FANG), Hess (NYSE:HES) were up more 4%, while HollyFrontier Corporation (NYSE:HFC) soared 6% 

Financials also contributed to the rally, lifted by a jump in U.S. rates and bets a faster rollout of vaccines will support a sooner and stronger than expected reopening. President Joe Biden said Tuesday the U.S. will have enough vaccines for all adults by the end of May, two months sooner than initially expected. 

In Texas Governor Greg Abbott ended the mask mandate and said all business can reopen in the state.

 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co  (NYSE:HPE), meanwhile, was unchanged despite reporting quarterly results that beat analysts' expectations on both the top and bottom lines, underpinned by the increasing number of companies making the shift to digital. 

Box (NYSE:BOX) was flat as its fourth-quarter results topped Wall Street estimates and the online storage company guided first quarter revenue to top $200 million for the first time.

In merger and acquisitions news,  Las Vegas Sands  (NYSE:LVS) said it would sell its Las Vegas properties to private-equity firms Apollo Global and  VICI Properties  (NYSE:VICI) for $6.25 billion. Las Vegas Sands was up about 3%

In other news, LYFT Inc (NASDAQ:LYFT) jumped more than 8% after company upgraded its outlook on a better-than-expected recovery in ridesharing demand.

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Mar 4, 2021