Wall St. Slips as Turkish-Lira Worries Hurt Bank Stocks

(Reuters) —

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U.S. stock indexes fell on Monday as a plummeting Turkish lira weighed on shares of big U.S. lenders, but losses on the Nasdaq were limited by high-flying companies such as Apple and Amazon that hit record highs.

The financials slipped 0.63 percent as U.S. bank stocks, like its European counterparts, bore the brunt of investor worries over exposure to Turkey’s crisis.

Shares of Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan were down between 0.7 percent and 1 percent.

The lira has tumbled more than 40 percent against the dollar this year on worries over President Tayyip Erdogan’s increasing control over the economy and deteriorating relations with the United States.

“While the Turkish lira does not pose a direct threat to the United States, it can temporarily impact sentiment and tip the investor to being risk-off,” said Dave Donabedian, chief investment officer of CIBC Private Wealth Management in Atlanta.

“Investors are buying technology as they are momentum stocks. Some of the large-cap tech stocks have a halo as strong earnings growers.”

The technology sector rose 0.18 percent and was the only S&P sector to be trading higher.

Apple’s shares jumped as much as 1.6 percent to hit a record high of $210.95 and Amazon.com rose as much as 2.1 to an all-time high of $1,925, while Google-parent Alphabet gained 0.2 percent.

At 12:38 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 101.99 points, or 0.40 percent, at 25,211.15, the S&P 500 was down 6.94 points, or 0.24 percent, at 2,826.34 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 5.08 points, or 0.06 percent, at 7,834.03.

Among stocks, Harley Davidson fell 4 percent after President Donald Trump backed boycotting the American motorcycle manufacturer.

Netflix’s shares dipped 0.5 percent and was the only one of the FAANG stocks trading lower, after the video streaming service provider said its Chief Financial Officer David Wells plans to step down.

Nielsen Holdings jumped 9.2 percent, the most on the S&P 500, after activist investor Elliott Management disclosed a stake and said would push for a sale of the TV-ratings company.

VF Corp dropped 3.9 percent after the apparel maker decided to spin off Lee and Wrangler jeans into a separate public company.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.33-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.98-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and eight new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 55 new highs and 90 new lows.

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