The stock markets in the United States suffered another decline primarily due to the selloff in small caps and biotechnology companies.

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Commenting on the market trends, Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at Boston Private Wealth told Bloomberg, “The weakness is building on itself, and it’s being led by sectors like biotech, which are bleeding over into the broader market.”

Pavlik also noted, “There’s pressure on Apple. After the big run we’ve been having in the overall market, we’re getting a setback here. A pullback in a market seeing a lot of volatility is going to happen from time to time.”

The NASDAQ Biotech index declined 3.3% while the Russell 2000 Index fell 3.9% over the past five days.

[drizzle]Michael Antonelli, an equity sales trader at Robert W. Baird said, “The market is punishing all the crowded trades at once.”

Today, the Department of Labor reported that the number of American workers who applied for unemployment benefits declined 34,000 to 262,000 for the week ended April 25.  The figure was the lowest in 15 years.

The agency also reported that wages and salaries in the United Stated increased at a faster rate in the first quarter at 0.7%.

Scott Brown, chief economist from Raymond James Financial commented, “It’s still not suggesting that things are really, really tight yet, but it does suggest continued improvement in the job market.”

A separate report from the Department of Commerce showed that consumer spending increased 0.4% last month. Consumer spending accounts two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,840.52 (-1.08%)
  • S&P 500- 2,085.51 (-1.01%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,941.42 (-1.64%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,220.23 (-2.14%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,615.59 (-0.04%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,960.63 (+0.21%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 11,454.38 (+0.19%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 19,520.01 (-2.69%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 28,133.00 (-0.94%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 4,749.89 (-0.51%)

Stocks in Focus

The shares of Apple dropped nearly 3% to $125.15 per share today. The company found defects in certain components of the Apple Watch, according to report from the Wall Street Journal based on information familiar with the issue. The tech giant discovered that the taptic engine of the Apple Watch was faulty, which prompted Apple to limit the availability of the device.

The stock price of Yelp plummeted more than 23% to $39.39 per share. The company reported disappointing financial results for the first quarter. Yelp incurred losses of $1.28 million or $0.02 per share. Its revenue was $118.51 million.

The shares of Pacira Pharmaceuticals declined more than 16% to $68.48 per share. The company posted lower-than-expected revenue for the first quarter. Pacira said its earnings were $0.23 per share on $88.32 million revenue.

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