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Big tech nervousness prompts calls to diversify By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logos of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google

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By John McCrank

NEW YORK (Reuters) – As a technology-driven rally brings U.S. stock indexes within striking distance of fresh records, concerns that big names are over-extended and that new regulation might be coming have some investors diversifying beyond the rally leaders.

The S&P 500’s five biggest companies, Apple Inc (O:), Microsoft Corp (O:), Amazon.com Inc (O:), Alphabet Inc (O:) and Facebook Inc (O:) now account for 28% of the index’s weighting and have been responsible for 25% of its earnings, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) said earlier this month.

On average, these tech and internet-driven stocks have gained 49.23% this year, compared to a 7% gain for the S&P 500 – and are up 9.6% on average since Sept. 21, versus 6.6% for the S&P 500. They are expected to report strong third-quarter earnings in coming weeks, proving their mettle in a year when the coronavirus pandemic fueled a work-from-home economy while devastating companies linked to sectors like travel, restaurants, and fossil fuels.

(Graphic: S&P 500’s big tech boost https://tmsnrt.rs/2SUGbw3)

Still, some worry that mega-cap tech companies are exposed to factors that may cut their allure in the months ahead. Being long technology is the most crowded trade of all time, according to a recent Bank of America (NYSE:) fund manager survey.

“It’s all about trying not to have all your eggs in one basket,” said Laura Kane, head of Americas thematic investing at UBS Global Wealth Management. “It’s about trimming certain exposures and rotating into something else.”

UBS analysts have recommended diversifying out of mega-cap tech stocks on signs of an economic recovery and climbing valuations. They urge rebalancing into U.S. semiconductors, which are more sensitive to economic recovery, as well as emerging market value stocks and United Kingdom-based equities.

Societe Generale (OTC:) analysts also recently cited a challenging regulatory environment as one reason to diversify out of U.S. tech shares and into Asian ones and European stocks.

Regulatory concerns have heightened following a scathing report https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tech-biden-analysis/scathing-congressional-report-suggests-big-trouble-for-big-tech-if-biden-wins-idUSKBN26S32A detailing market power abuses by Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook issued earlier this month by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel. The report has raised concerns that tough new rules and stricter enforcement for big tech companies will follow should Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden win the White House.

A potential breakthrough in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine also could also spur bets on shares of economically sensitive value and cyclical stocks that may benefit from a stronger economic recovery, potentially dimming the appeal of tech, Soc Gen analysts said.

The median 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio for the Big 5 tech stocks is 31, while the S&P 500 trades at a 12-month forward PE ratio of 22, according to Refinitiv. Still, they are not as extended as in the dotcom period, with overall profitability, dividends and balance sheet strength in much better shape than 20 years ago.

Companies investors will be watching next week as they report third-quarter results include Netflix Inc (O:) on Tuesday, Tesla Inc (O:) and Verizon Communication Inc (N:) on Wednesday, and Intel Corp (O:) on Thursday. Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook report the following week.

Many investors still see the big tech names, with their strong balance sheets and financial results, as havens as coronavirus cases continue to climb and the economy struggles with a lack of new fiscal stimulus.

“These companies deliver powerful profits,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors. “People have to keep in mind that the five largest tech companies make more in earnings than the entire combined, so this isn’t the internet bubble.”

It might be a good idea to trim some tech exposure if the position has gotten too overweighted, but the sector’s gains are largely being driven by fundamentals, said Michael Farr, president of Farr, Miller & Washington LLC.

To rotate out of tech because of big gains and some recent volatility would be “a suckers’ trade,” he added. “Reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated,” he said of the big tech stocks.





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Dunkin’ Brands to go private in $8.76 billion deal by Arby’s owner By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A box of donuts is pictured at a newly opened Dunkin’ Donuts store in Santa Monica

(Reuters) – Inspire Brands Inc will buy Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc (O:) for $8.76 billion, the two companies said on Friday, bringing chains like Arby’s and Dunkin’ Donuts under the same umbrella in one of the largest restaurant deals.

Inspire Brands, which owns Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Sonic Drive-In, said its all-cash deal to take the owner of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins chains private would value it at $106.50 a share. That represents a nearly 20% premium over Dunkin’s last closing share price on Oct. 23, before the New York Times first reported the deal talks.

Including debt, the deal is valued at about $11.3 billion, Inspire Brands said.

Sales at Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins have improved from their lockdown lows in recent weeks, boosted by strong demand for its curbside pickup, drive-thru and delivery options.

Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins on Thursday posted a surprise rise in U.S. comparable sales in the third quarter.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Dow Suffers Worst Week Since March as Tech Loses Lustre By Investing.com

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© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com – The Dow cut losses into the close Friday, but posted its worst week since March as technology slipped on weaker quarterly earnings, while rising Covid-19 infections prompted investors to abandon their bullish bets on stocks.

The fell 0.59%, or 157 points, and is down 11% from its September highs. The fell 1.15%, while the slumped 2.45%.

Tech, which has been leading the broader market rebound since mid-March, is in the selling spotlight as investors mulled a string of quarterly results from FAANG stocks, excluding Netflix (NASDAQ:).

Apple (NASDAQ:) fell 6% after its weaker-than-expected iPhone sales overshadowed third-quarter results that beat on both the top and bottom lines. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:)’s third-quarter results also beat Wall Street estimates, but its underwhelming guidance sent its shares 5% lower.

Facebook (NASDAQ:) slumped 6%% after a fall in user additions, but Wall Street continued to back the stock as the social media giant is expected to benefit from the ongoing “shift of ad spending to digital outlets,” Wedbush said in a note.

Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:), however, sidestepped the selling, closing 4% higher as investors cheered signs of a rebound in ad-spending as the search engine giant reported third-quarter results that topped analysts’ estimates.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:) plunged 21% after bucking the trend of sharp user growth seen from other social platforms including Snapchat during the quarter, adding just 1 million users since the end of the second quarter.

Energy cut its losses to end positive as oil major Exxon Mobil (NYSE:) pared some intraday weakness following disappointing quarterly results.

The biggest one-day slump on Wall Street since the pandemic began in mid-March comes ahead of the U.S. election on Nov. 3 and as the spread of the virus continues to gather pace.

“[I]t is very unlikely that the economy will so easily continue along on an uninterrupted positive trajectory, particularly if a resurgence of the virus undermines the progress made July to September,” Stifel Economics said in a note.

The likely resurgence of the virus in the winter could potentially lead to “further restrictions or regulations will only serve to complicate the outlook for the global recovery, domestic GDP, policy and, of course, next week’s election.”

On the stimulus front, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she remains at odds with the White House on addressing differences concerning the stimulus package. 

Pelosi said she expects Congress “certainly will have something [done] at the start of the new presidency,” though did “not want to have to wait that long, because people have needs,” according to MSNBC.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.59% By Investing.com

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© Reuters U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.59%

Investing.com – U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the , and sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the declined 0.59% to hit a new 1-month low, while the index fell 1.21%, and the index fell 2.45%.

The best performers of the session on the were International Business Machines (NYSE:), which rose 2.52% or 2.75 points to trade at 111.66 at the close. Meanwhile, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:) added 1.55% or 0.52 points to end at 34.04 and Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:) was up 1.55% or 2.39 points to 157.06 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Apple Inc (NASDAQ:), which fell 5.57% or 6.42 points to trade at 108.90 at the close. Boeing Co (NYSE:) declined 2.64% or 3.91 points to end at 144.38 and Nike Inc (NYSE:) was down 2.21% or 2.71 points to 120.15.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Mohawk Industries Inc (NYSE:) which rose 11.14% to 103.42, ResMed Inc (NYSE:) which was up 7.01% to settle at 192.10 and Molson Coors Brewing Co Class B (NYSE:) which gained 5.69% to close at 35.28.

The worst performers were Twitter Inc (NYSE:) which was down 21.13% to 41.35 in late trade, Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (NYSE:) which lost 7.33% to settle at 46.26 and Western Union Company (NYSE:) which was down 7.03% to 19.43 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Marine Petroleum Trust (NASDAQ:) which rose 37.40% to 3.380, BioLineRx Ltd (NASDAQ:) which was up 35.14% to settle at 2.000 and Tricida Inc (NASDAQ:) which gained 28.83% to close at 5.63.

The worst performers were Axovant Gene Therapies Ltd (NASDAQ:) which was down 41.64% to 2.13 in late trade, Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:) which lost 36.78% to settle at 3.730 and Intec Pharma Ltd (NASDAQ:) which was down 25.23% to 2.3000 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1893 to 1041 and 82 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1996 fell and 789 advanced, while 54 ended unchanged.

Shares in Intec Pharma Ltd (NASDAQ:) fell to 52-week highs; down 25.23% or 0.7760 to 2.3000.

The , which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was up 1.14% to 38.02.

Gold Futures for December delivery was up 0.57% or 10.70 to $1878.70 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in December fell 1.11% or 0.40 to hit $35.77 a barrel, while the January Brent oil contract fell 0.97% or 0.37 to trade at $37.89 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.21% to 1.1649, while USD/JPY rose 0.06% to 104.67.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.06% at 94.037.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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