U.S. Stocks Down Firmly In Negative Territory; Tech Stocks Drifting Lower


U.S. stocks are down firmly in negative territory on Monday, with those from the technology sector suffering sharp losses as investors await earnings updates from top notch tech firms.

Investors are also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday. The Bank of England and the European Central Bank are also scheduled to announce their rate decisions this week.

The major averages are all notably lower going into the final hour, and look well on course to end the day’s session on a weak note.

The Dow is down 198.88 points or 0.59 percent at 33,779.20. The S&P 500 is down 44.07 points or 1.08 percent at 4,026.49, while the Nasdaq is down 195.81 points or 1.68 percent at 11,425.90.

The Fed is widely expected to slow the pace of interest rate hikes to 25 basis points. Traders will pay close attention to the accompanying statement for clues about the outlook for further rate hikes.

Recent upbeat economic data has generated some optimism the Fed could engineer a soft landing but has also led to concerns the central bank will need to keep rates at elevated levels for longer than anticipated.

Shares of Apple Inc., Amazon and Alphabet are down 1.2 to 2 percent, ahead of their quarterly earnings reports. Meta Platforms Inc. shares are down 2.6 percent.

Johnson & Johnson shares are down nearly 4 percent on reports a federal appeals court has ruled that the company’s LTL Management cannot use bankruptcy to resolve the numerous talc-injury lawsuits.

According to a Bloomberg report a three-judge panel in Philadelphia sided with cancer victims, who stated that JNJ incorrectly put its specially created unit, LTL Management, under court protection to block juries from hearing the lawsuits.

J&J now has to defend itself against claims that contaminated talc in its baby powder causes cancer.

Chevron, Microsoft, 3M and Walmart are also notably lower.

Shares of American Express Co. are up nearly 1.5 percent, thanks to upward revision in the stock’s rating by several top brokerages.

Goldman Sachs, Verizon, Salesforce.com, IBM, Merck and United Health are also up in positive territory.

On the economic front, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ general business activity index for manufacturing in Texas rose 11.6 points to -8.4 in January of 2023, from an upwardly revised 20 in December.

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