Large-Cap Stocks Mostly Lower on Monday, Tech Stocks Gain

Lula Sharp
March 14, 2018

US stocks turned lower Monday, weighed down by declines in industrial and energy shares.

"Even as the markets are looking fairly positive in general, especially south of the border, it's really a very narrowly-focused group of technology stocks that are carrying nearly all of the gains". Microsoft was among the worst-performing stocks on the Dow, falling 2.4 percent.

Concerns about possible fallout from the tariffs largely supplanted optimism, based upon the modest wage growth numbers from Friday's employment report, that the Federal Reserve would stick to its projected three interest-rate increases in 2018.

Many of the United States' big manufacturers have suffered since U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that could increase their costs while hampering sales overseas.

Traders of United States short-term interest-rate futures kept bets the Federal Reserve will stick to three rate hikes this year.

However, the S&P and the Dow have almost reclaimed those losses. However, trade turned lacklustre through the course of the session as investors exercised caution ahead of data on inflation, retail sales, housing and industrial production, due in the coming days.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 157.13 points to 25,178.61.

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Trump softened his stance last week by exempting Canada and Mexico, but negotiations are ongoing as the European Union also seeks to exempt itself from the tariffs.

In Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.65 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 1.93 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.59 percent and India's BSE Sensex jumped 1.83 percent.

Lumentum's shares rose 1 percent.

Oclaro (OCLR.O) jumped 27.5 percent after laser and optical fiber specialist Lumentum Holdings (LITE.O) said it would buy the optical components producer for $1.7 billion.

Shares of Micron Technology (MU.O) rose 8.8 percent to $59.37 after analysts at Nomura raised their target for the stock to $100.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.22-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.45-to-1 ratio favored advancers. Both S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose as much as 0.7 percent before trading lower.

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