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Stocks Mixed As Nasdaq, Techs Are Shelled; Facebook Teeters At Key Level | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stocks diverged sharply Wednesday, with small caps and the Dow Jones industrial average closing higher while the Nasdaq composite and much of the technology sector was routed.

XAutoplay: On | OffThe Nasdaq tumbled 1.3%, its largest one-day loss since Aug. 17, as investors took profits on the technology winners that have fueled much of the year’s market gains. Semiconductor, data storage, software, internet and networking industry groups slid 3% to 7% and were among the 20 worst-performing industry groups.

The S&P 500 was off a fraction and the Dow closed 0.4% higher as both made new highs in the session. Volume increased across the board, according to early figures. Losers equaled winners on the NYSE. Despite the Nasdaq’s losses, winners led by 3-to-2, indicating that the selling was concentrated on select industries.

IShares PHLX Semiconductor (SOXX), an ETF that tracks the Philadelphia semiconductor index, skidded 4.4% and was one of the most heavily traded shares Wednesday.

Dents were visible in some technology leaders, including the FANG stocks. Facebook (FB) lost 4% in big volume, but managed to hold near the 50-day moving average. A modest gain from its 175.59 buy point is now nearly entirely gone. Amazon.com (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOGL) not only stumbled but also had the highest volume since their big upside moves at the start of this month or late October.

Nvidia (NVDA), another stock with far more volume than usual, plunged 7% and has undone about six weeks of gains. Nvidia now needs to show it can rebound from the 50-day line.

The tech-sector rout overshadowed a fine day for retail, finance and other sectors, where there were dozens of breakouts.

Department stores, auto parts chains, office supply stores and supermarkets were the four best-performing industry groups in today’s market. Airlines, shipping and air freight made the transportation sector another solid performer.

Superregional and regional banks extended this week’s rally. Zions Bancorp (ZION), Webster Financial (WBS), SunTrust Banks (STI), Trustmark (TRMK), Regions Financial (RF) and Texas Capital Bancshares (TCBI) were some banks that broke out past buy points.

In investment banking and brokers, Raymond James Financial (RJF) and Stifel Financial (SF) also saw breakouts.

The strength in financials helped the Russell 2000 outperform, adding 0.3%.

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