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Apple drags down sparks tech sell-off, dispatching Alphabet and Microsoft to one-year lows

Apple drags down sparks tech sell-off, dispatching Alphabet and Microsoft to one-year lows

October 03, 2022: -Shares of large technology companies mourned heavy losses on Thursday, pulling down many other U.S. stocks after analysts at Bank of America lowered Apple’s stock rating.

Tech stocks have been pushed down all year as investors have rotated out of growth and flocked to more defensive assets to deal with higher interest rates and to get ahead of a possible recession.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the buying came after the worst two weeks since the onset of the Covid pandemic. Currently, the downward trend is back, with the Nasdaq off 2.8% on Thursday, its steepest one-day setback since September 13. The broader S&P 500 decreased by 2.1%.

Apple shares declined nearly 5% as Bank of America analysts led by Wamsi Mohan revised their rating to neutral from buy, straying from the buy position held by most analysts polled by FactSet.

The analysts pointed to several risks, including a weaker buying cycle associated with the iPhone 14 that Apple removed this month. One day earlier, a report said Apple had scrapped its plan to boost iPhone production by 6 million units in the year’s second half.

Apple stock is now worth 20% smaller than it was at the end of 2021, while the Nasdaq is down 31% over the same period.

Microsoft took the lightest blow of the technology companies with the most significant market valuations. It ended Thursday’s trading session down about 1.5%, which was still a 52-week low. Google parent Alphabet also reached a 52-week low, dropping 2.6%. Shares of Facebook parent Meta Platforms skated 3.7%, Amazon declined 2.7%, and Tesla was off 6.8%.

Smaller growth-oriented tech firms also suffered, with Coinbase down nearly 8% after Wells Fargo initiated coverage with an underweight rating. Elsewhere, Shopify fell 8.45%, Rivian dropped 7.9%, and Roblox was off 7%.

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