U.S. stocks are dropping following the Christmas weekend and taking a cue from the Asian markets, where Chinese stocks fell by more than 2 percent.
New signs of slowing growth in China and the soon-to-come changes in the stock exchange listing requirements weighed on the Shanghai Composite Index. Investors are also concerned about the lifting of a six-month ban on inside shareholder selling.
The S&P 500 was falling by 8 points to 2,052, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was dropping by 75 points to 17,475 and the Nasdaq was sliding 18 points to 5,030.
Iconix Brand Group’s shares fell by more than 14 percent to $6.35 after the company revealed that the SEC was investigating the accounting treatment for some joint ventures. Iconix had formed a special committee to review the accounting issues. The company also had said in November that it was restating its financial statements for 2013, 2014 and parts of 2015. The stock has fallen more than 77 percent this year, plunging from a year high of $37.29 to less than $7.
Amazon had a blockbuster weekend with record-breaking sales for content and devices. The free shipping offer drove more than three million people to become Amazon Prime members during the third week of December. The Amazon Fire tablet was the best-selling product. The company noted that Kindle Paperwhite, Cards Against Humanity and Fitbit Charge were the most popular items ordered with Prime free same-day delivery. Amazon stock rose almost one percent to $668.14.
Fitbit stock is rising more than 4 percent to $30.20 on the word that the product had huge holiday sales. The product was at the top of Apple’s free app chart on Christmas, evidence of all the people who got the gift and then downloaded the software. Among Fitbit’s products, which include the Surge, the Charge, the Flex, the One and the Zip, the Flex is the cheapest at $99.
Analysts got busy ratcheting up price targets on retail stocks. Argus raised the price target on Nike from $75 to $77. D.A. Davidson also raised its rating on Nike to $78 and gave it a buy rating. Axion lifted its price target on Alphabet to $1,000 from $900. Axion also bumped Amazon’s price target from $727 to $797.
The European indices were all lower mostly due to the U.K. market being closed for Boxing Day. The Spanish political landscape is still murky which is also leading to uncertainty in the European picture.