After Market: High Techs and Biotechs Drag Indexes Down

Biotech and health care stocks looked like they needed a transfusion of market confidence Monday, as for the second session in a row, their performance was anemic. Investors are trying to determine if we're at the start of a longer-term rotation out of the group, or whether those falling values only reflect a surge of profit-taking.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 26 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost 9, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) slid 50 points.

A lot of big-name tech stocks led the Nasdaq's decline. Netflix (NFLX) dropped nearly 7 percent, Facebook (FB), LinkedIn (LNKD) and Twitter (TWTR) all lost about 4 percent. Google (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN), Priceline (PCLN) and Yahoo (YHOO) all lost about 3 percent. Tesla (TSLA) was also a drag on the Nasdaq, losing 5 percent.

And another recent high-flier -– the cyber-security firm FireEye (FEYE) -- fell 7 percent. However, even though it has lost ground this month, the stock is still up 80 percent from a year ago.

But Apple (AAPL) bucked the downtrend, gaining more than 1 percent. The Wall Street Journal says it's working on a deal with cable giant Comcast (CMCSK) involving a streaming TV service, and there are reports that Apple is about to launch an iTunes radio app for Android users. That pressured Pandora (P), which fell 8 percent.

As for the biotech sector, it was across the board selling. Amgen (AMGN) fell 1 percent and Biogen (BIIB) lost 2 percent.

In the health care and pharmaceutical sector, Incyte (INCY) dropped 7 percent, Alexion (ALXN) down 6 percent, and Pharmacyclics (PCYC) down 4 percent. Even the big boys took a hit. Pfizer (PFE) lost 2 percent Merck (MRK) lost 1 percent.

Even though it was a down day, there were some gainers. Among the blue chips, high-dividend paying companies did well. Procter & Gamble (PG) gained nearly 2 percent. JPMorgan (JPM) and IBM (IBM) both gained 1 percent.

Elsewhere, Nu-Skin (NUS) jumped 18 percent as sanctions by Chinese regulators were milder than expected. And Lions Gate (LGF) rose 3 percent after "Divergent" enjoyed a strong opening weekend at the box office.

What to Watch Tuesday:
  • Standard & Poor's releases the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for January at 9 a.m. Eastern time.
  • At 10 a.m., the Commerce Department releases new home sales for February, and the Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for March.
These major companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results:
  • Carnival (CCL)
  • Five Below (FIVE)
  • G-III Apparel (GIII)
  • McCormick & Co. (MKC)
  • Steelcase (SCS)
  • Walgreen (WAG)
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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Oh my! The thrill of it...eyes glued to the screen, phones calls made and received. Should I buy another 2 mil??? Jack it up boys, squeeze another 2% out of folks that don't have it. Howl like the Wolf of Wall Street you are. Remember those tankers at idle in the Gulf waiting to load/unload...pounce now before it's to late. Profits are waiting to be made, your sooooo close to that yacht or that Gulfstream V....Oh my God should I hit the enter key....

March 25 2014 at 8:41 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Excuses, excuses. When it goes up, Obama is the cause. But when it goes down it is because of everything but Obama. AOL ;eans a little to the left. This kind of "reporting" used to be called propaganda.

March 25 2014 at 5:21 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I predict the sun wise rise in the morning and stocks will go down and up on a whim as the players scam for one more buck, I can just feel the hedge funders, private equity firms and GS buying those crude futures due to the "shipping stand still" near Houston...don't miss the boat, there may be another buck made off the cash strapped consumers, squeez um' a little more.

March 24 2014 at 8:47 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Didn't tech stocks tank once before? Deja vu.

March 24 2014 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Will test 15.5 on the Dow ..... and proceed down from that level .... We might get caught in a sideways trading range of 14- 14.5 ... either way we are heading south ... nothing but old hat TIRED stocks ... that cant make earnings ... the only thing holding them up is FED $$$$$ ... and alot of Media Hype ..... Real Estate and Gold may just push the Stock Market right off the stage !

March 24 2014 at 7:28 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I did'nt think anyone would put their name to this report after rushing to write it after the Bell.

Is'nt Nu-Skin that liquid bandaid?

March 24 2014 at 5:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply