Internet stocks and small-cap shares tumbled, sending the Nasdaq Composite Index near a one-month low, as investors sold some of the bull market’s best performing shares.
Tesla Motors Inc. fell 10 percent, while Facebook Inc., TripAdvisor Inc. and Twitter Inc. lost at least 3.5 percent. All 41 stocks in the Dow Jones Internet Composite Index dropped, with the gauge sliding 2.3 percent, the biggest intraday drop since July. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was little changed, helped by a rally in Molson Coors Brewing Co. on takeover speculation.
“A lot of these companies have had good runs and this is part of a healthy correction,” Mike Balkin, portfolio manager of the $535 million William Blair Small Cap Growth Fund, said.
The Nasdaq Composite sank 1 percent to 4,522.6 as of 3:29 p.m. in New York. The Russell 2000 Index lost 1 percent. Shares of larger companies fared better, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.3 percent. The S&P 500 slipped less than 0.1 percent.
In the Nasdaq 100 Index, the stocks with today’s 10 biggest declines were up an average of more than 220 percent since the end of 2012 through last week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Tesla had the biggest gain, rising 724 percent, followed by Netflix, which surged 414 percent over the 20-month stretch.
Stocks that recently went public were also among the hardest hit. The Bloomberg Initial Public Offering Index of 198 companies dropped 1.7 percent, the most since July. Twitter Inc. lost 5 percent to $49.51.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. plans to boost the price of its initial public offering amid strong investor demand, people with knowledge of the matter said. The company plans to increase the top end of a marketed price range to just below $70, from $66 previously, said one of the people, asking not to be identified discussing private information.
“Growth is being sold today with both hands, whether it’s nervousness over the Fed, or in order to raise funds for the Alibaba allocation,” Michael James, a Los Angeles-based managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities Inc., said. “If I’m going to get a million shares of Alibaba, I need to have money to buy that. If I need to sell five other stocks to raise that money, I will.”
Tesla fell 10 percent to $250.49. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jones said the shares are unlikely to appreciate “so consistently and one-directionally from here.” SolarCity Corp., the energy company that lists Elon Musk as its chairman, fell 9 percent, heading for the biggest decline since May.
Microsoft Corp. lost 1.2 percent to $46.15 after agreeing to buy Mojang AB, the software company behind the popular game Minecraft, for $2.5 billion, in a bid to boost its Xbox and mobile business.
Molson Coors jumped 5.3 percent to $75.63. Credit Suisse Group AG said the company would be the best fit for an acquisition by SABMiller after its attempted purchase of Heineken was rebuffed by the company.
Apple Inc. added 0.2 percent to $101.89, a fourth day of gains. The company said pre-orders for its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus topped 4 million in the first 24 hours, a record for first day ordering.
Equities remain “relatively attractive” to bonds, according to Thomas Lee, the former JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief equity strategist. The S&P 500 will probably climb 5.9 percent to end the year at 2,100 while earnings for companies in the index will reach $118 per share, Lee wrote in his first note at Fundstrat Global Advisors, a new boutique research firm.
Pent-up investor demand and strengthened corporate and consumer balance sheets will fuel multi-year gains in U.S. stocks as investment spending and corporate profits expand, according to Lee.
The S&P 500 has closed at new highs 33 times in 2014 and less than 6 percent of companies in the index are in bear markets, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That contrasts with smaller companies in the Russell 2000, where more than 40 percent of stocks have fallen at least 20 percent from their peak in the last 12 months.
Economic data today showed output at factories, mines and utilities fell 0.1 percent after a 0.2 percent gain the prior month that was smaller than previously reported, figures from the Fed showed. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 79 economists called for a 0.3 percent rise.
Fed policy makers begin a two-day meeting tomorrow as they wind down a bond-buying program and consider the timing of an increase in interest rates. The central bank has said that its benchmark rate will stay low for a “considerable time” after it completes the monthly bond purchases.
Signs that China’s economy is slowing also contributed to losses among U.S. shares. The nation’s industrial output rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier in August, the statistics bureau said on Sept. 13, the slowest pace outside the Lunar New Year holiday period of January and February since December 2008, based on previously reported figures compiled by Bloomberg.
“The tail end of last week and then the start today has been primarily focused on weak industrial production numbers out of China that translated to weaker Europe and U.S.,” David Lyon, global investment specialist at JP Morgan Private Bank, which oversees nearly $1 trillion, said.
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