The last two days of a plunging stock market on fears that the outbreak of coronavirus will last longer and spread farther than previously imagined have taken a huge chunk out of some momentum stocks.
Just today shares of Nvidia (NVDA) fell another 4.11%, Twilio (TWLO) plunged 4.77%, PayPal (PYPL) dropped 5.82%, and Micron Technology (MU) sank 5.29%.
That continued multiday retreats in these former momentum favorites. For example, Nvidia is now down 11.64% over the last five days to the close today, February 25. Twilio is down 12.28%.
In that same period the Standard & Poor’s 500 is down “just” 7.21%.
In other words investors and traders have been selling these momentum stocks faster than they’ve been selling the market as a whole.
That stands to reason: Investors and traders were a little bit leery of the rocket-like rise of some of these stocks in 2020 and given an increase in fear, they’re sold in order to take some of those big recent profits.
But another group of momentum stocks–big momentum stocks–hasn’t tumbled as much as these momentum favorites. More than the S&P 500 sure, but substantially less than what I’d call the tier of momentum stocks perceived as riskier and more volatile.
Apple (AAPL), for instance is down 9.58% in the last five sessions. Amazon (AMZN) is off 9.26%. Microsoft (MSFT) has taken the biggest hit among the market’s bigger momentum stocks with a 10.24% retreat over five days.
I think there are several implications from this pattern for the next few days.
If the selling in the big market cap momentum stocks like Apple and Microsoft catches up with the selling pace in the “riskier” and smaller momentum stocks, then I’d expect the selling in the market as a whole to continue at the current pace or maybe even accelerate a big. After all, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet carry such heavy weightings in the indexes that as they go so goes the market. True on the way up. True on the way down.
There is also the possibility–worth considering–that the momentum selling will shift from the Nvidia-s to the Apple-s. At least to a degree. As investors and traders look to raise cash while taking less of a bath than they’d get by selling a Twilio now.