It seems Santa may not be coming this year for the markets as equities continued their tumble on Monday as the Dow tanked 500 points as investors continued to focus on economic growth concerns going into the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision on Thursday morning. Losses were extended across the board and led by Real Estate and Utilities. The Dow finished down -2.11%, the S&P 500 fell -2.08% and the Nasdaq fell -2.27%.
The major indexes opened lower and tried to retest the highs form the open in a short lived rally that eroded around midday. Entering the headlines was the Russel 2000 index which focusses on small cap stocks entered bear market territory and is down 20% from its 52-week high. See Russell 200- Index (Weekly) chart below
There wasn’t much good news for stocks as we saw the VIX rise above 25, all Dow components finishing in negative territory and all S&P 500 sectors post losses. In more specific news, Goldman Sachs (GS) shares fell -2.7% as Malaysian authorities filed criminal charges against former partners in relation to the 1MDB scandal. United Health (UNH) shares declined -2.6% after a federal judge ruled that the regulation more commonly known as Obamacare was unconstitutional. Sticking in the healthcare space shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) fell a further -2.9%. Twitter (TWTR) shares declined -6.8% after the company flagged an issues that may have caused the country code of user’s to be revealed.
One stock that stood out from the rest was Xerox Corp (XRX) as shares plummeted -12.92% following the digital printing company’s senior unsecured debt rating was downgraded by Moody’s from Baa3 to Ba1.
On the earnings front, Oracle (ORCL) shares rose +6.17% in after-hours trading as the company’ beat top and bottom line estimates. After the close on Tuesday we have Micron (MU) and FedEx (FDX). See weekly earnings forecast below.