Stocks fell on Monday as losses in Apple shares pressured the broader tech sector. Investors also braced for key testimony from the top Federal Reserve official later this week.
Apple shares fell more than 2% after an analyst at Rosenblatt Securities downgraded them to sell from neutral. The analyst said the stock will “face fundamental deterioration over the next 6 to 12 months ” as Apple’s iPhone sales disappoint and growth in other products slows down.
Other tech shares like NetApp and Juniper Networks also fell. Micron Technology, Applied Materials and Lam Research traded lower as well.
Wall Street also looked ahead to testimony from Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday. Powell’s testimony comes after a stronger-than-expected jobs report raised questions about whether the Fed will cut rates later this month.
“Friday’s employment data took the market by surprise. That dampens the prospects of the Fed acting,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities. “They will have to collect further evidence” before deciding on their next monetary policy move.
The Fed opened the door for lower rates last month after saying it will “act as appropriate” to maintain the current U.S. economic expansion, which is the longest ever.
“I think that this will be one of the most important weeks of Chairman Powell’s 2019 career. I think the market has expectations, like you said, of a quarter point at minimum rate cut at the end of July, yet the Fed really hasn’t concluded that that is going to occur yet,” Brett Ewing, chief market strategist of First Franklin Financial Services, told CNBC on Monday.
“This is the week that either Chairman Powell needs to guide the market into what they believe they are going to do that could be different or he needs to concur with the market,” Ewing said.
The major indexes posted solid gains last week and notched all-time highs.
—CNBC’s Sam Meredith and Ryan Browne contributed to this report.