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Nasdaq Composite Suffers Steepest Decline Since April

Carolane de Palmas | Tuesday 25 June 2024

Tech stocks took a hit on Monday, June 24th, as the Nasdaq Composite index plunged 1.09%. This marked the index's worst performance since April 2024, with profit-taking in sectors like Artificial Intelligence (AI), data computing, and semiconductors likely contributing to the decline.

Let’s take a closer look:

The word NASDAQ written with a trading charts background

Nvidia Tumbles, Dragging Markets Lower

A significant factor in yesterday's 1.09% decline for the tech-heavy Nasdaq index was the sharp drop in Nvidia (NVDA) share price. Nvidia fell 6.7%, closing at $118.11, making it the fourth-biggest loser in the S&P 500 that day. This extended its losses to 13% in just three days, following a recent surge that briefly saw Nvidia surpass Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) as the world's most valuable company. On Tuesday, June 18, Nvidia’s share price reached an all-time high of over $136 per share, pushing its market cap to $3.34 trillion.

Are Traders Locking in Gains in the Tech Sector?

Despite the recent losses, Nvidia's market cap has nearly tripled over the past year. This significant growth likely prompted some traders to cash in on some of their gains, contributing to yesterday's slide. It was Nvidia's second-steepest drop of the year, also triggering declines in other chipmakers and AI-related tech stocks.

The information technology sector was the biggest loser in yesterday's broad market decline, experiencing a drop of 2.1%. While this decline was likely amplified by the significant drop in Nvidia's share price, companies with close ties to the tech and AI industries were particularly impacted.

Super Micro Computer (SMCI) (down 8.7%) which uses Nvidia's AI chips in its servers, and competitor Dell Technologies (DELL) (down 5.2%) fell, while the broader chip-making industry also felt the ripple effects, with chip designer Arm falling 5.8% and giants like Qualcomm (QCOM) and Broadcom (AVGO) dropping 5.5% and nearly 4% respectively.

What Do Analysts Expect from Nvidia and the Nasdaq?

The recent decline in Nvidia’s value comes after a remarkable rise for Nvidia. In 2016, its stock price was a fraction of its current value. Through a strategic shift, Nvidia transformed from a leader in the graphics card market (competing with AMD (AMD)) into a powerhouse in AI chip development, a sector analysts call the "new gold or oil" of tech. This shift fueled a large buying pressure on Nvidia's stock.

Some analysts are of the opinion that Nvidia has the potential for further expansion. The firm has observed a persistent and strong demand for its highly valued artificial intelligence graphics processing units (GPUs), particularly from major technology companies such as Microsoft, Google (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN), Oracle (ORCL), and Meta (META). These companies heavily depend on these GPUs for their data centres and cloud computing services. In addition, Nvidia intends to launch their next AI chip, Blackwell, in the near future, which might potentially initiate another period of expansion for the firm.

Although the AI industry has the potential for further expansion, the overall market faces uncertainty. Although the "AI hype" may continue to drive certain tech businesses and the Nasdaq index, global geopolitical and political tensions have the potential to heighten market volatility. However, only time will reveal what lies ahead for this tech giant. (Source: CNBC)

Conclusion

The Nasdaq Composite had its worst day since April 2024 yesterday, Monday, June 24, probably largely due to traders taking profits in the overheated tech and semiconductor industries. The selloff may also have been influenced by end-of-quarter and end-of-month rebalancing by professional and individual traders.

The coming week is expected to see further market turbulence. Some traders will probably be keenly monitoring the first presidential debate on Thursday, June 27, and the first round of French elections on Sunday, June 30, in addition to other significant news and market insights, for any indications of potential volatility.


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