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Dow Jones Futures: Trump Blasts Canada; Chip Stocks Weak

Dow Jones futures rose slightly late Wednesday, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures. The Dow Jones, S&P 500 index and Nasdaq composite reversed to close lower after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said “some asset prices” are high. Chip stocks are once again breaking and testing key technical levels, though Nvidia (NVDA) got a late boost. President Donald Trump held a news conference after the close, speaking on everything from the Fed to Canada trade to the Brett Kavanaugh nomination.




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Dow Jones Futures Today

Dow Jones futures were 0.1% above fair value. So were S&P 500 futures. Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.2%. Remember that overnight action doesn’t necessarily translate into actual trading in the next regular session.

President Trump News Conference

During his 80-minute news conference, President Trump said he rejected a one-on-one meeting with Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to try to break a deadlock in U.S.-Canada trade talks. He said Canada has treated the U.S. “very badly” with its “too high” tariffs. He threatened to slap the country with auto tariffs.

Trump also said he wasn’t happy with the latest Fed rate hike Wednesday afternoon, continuing a recent trend of criticizing the central bank.

The president also said sexual assault charges vs. Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh are a “con job,” though he implied he could change his mind after Thursday’s showdown Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

The major indexes initially rose to session highs following the expected Fed rate hike, but then fell after Chairman Powell indicated that stock prices are too expensive.

Chip Stocks Below 50-Day Line

Semiconductor stock groups were among the worst performers Wednesday, helped by fresh chip-equipment downgrades. The Philadelphia Semiconductor index fell nearly 1%, approaching its 200-day line. On Tuesday, the Philly Sox index sold off, closing just below its 50-day line.

The Philly Sox’s relative strength line, which tracks its performance vs. the S&P 500 index, is approaching 52-week lows once again. 

Chip stocks have struggled in 2018. Semiconductors usually take part or lead stock market rallies, given their weight in the broader indexes as well as their importance in so many products.

While AMD (AMD) has soared this year, Intel (INTC), Micron (MU) and many others have not. That includes Apple (AAPL) chipmakers such as Broadcom (AVGO), even as Apple stock has powered above a $1 trillion market cap.

Nvidia Stock Tries To Fight Chip Tide

The graphics-chip maker closed down 0.6% to 266.92 on Wednesday. That’s just below a 269.30 flat-base buy point and slightly above the 50-day line. Nvidia rose a fraction in late trade to 268.30.

Earlier, Bernstein remained bullish on that name despite being gloomy on the chip sector broadly. Three analysts have backed Nvidia stock this week.

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