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[Hardware] S&P 500 Losers: First Republic Crashes; Dow Giant Microsoft Slides


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First Republic Bank (FRC) was easily the S&P 500's biggest loser on the stock market today. Microsoft (MSFT), Paycom Software (PAYC), Intel (INTC) and Illumina (ILMN) fell modestly, but rounded out Monday's five biggest S&P 500 decliners. 

The S&P 500 index rose 0.9% on Monday, back above its 200-day moving average.

FRC Stock Crashes
FRC stock crashed 47% to 12.18 on Monday, hitting a record low as First Republic becomes the new epicenter in the bank crisis. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is advising California-based First Republic on strategic alternatives, including ways to raise capital. But as FRC stock continues to plunge, a share sale would become evermore dilutive. 


Early Monday, S&P Global downgraded First Republic deeper into junk territory after dropping its investment grade status last week. Moody's Investors Service cut First Republic to junk late Friday.

Last Thursday, S&P 500 stock FRC popped 10% after JPMorgan and 10 other banks announced they were depositing $30 billion into First Republic. But shares dived 33% on Friday. First Republic stock has plummeted 90.1% so far in March. Speculation is growing that First Republic needs a buyer, but regulators may be reluctant to let a major bank like JPMorgan make a sizable acquisition. Microsoft Stock
MSFT stock fell 2.6% to 272.23, falling back below a 276.76 flat-base buy point. That's according to MarketSmith analysis. But that's after the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq component surged 12.4% last week, with five days of gains in rising volume. 

Paycom Stock
Paycom stock sank 2.4% to 270.37 Monday, the lowest close since late June.

Intel Stock
INTC stock, another Dow/S&P 500/Nasdaq component, retreated 2.2% to 29.16 after reversing lower from the long-sliding 200-day line Friday. INTC stock has a bottoming base that formed below the 200-day moving average, which is not a great sign. But a move above the 31.27 buy point would involve topping the 200-day.

A bigger issue is that Intel earnings and INTC stock are laggards in the chip sector.

Illumina Stock
ILMN stock gave up 2.1% to 219.77. The maker of DNA sequencing machines has pulled back over the past several days since surging 17% on March 13. The upside is that ILMN stock now has a handle on its cup-shape bottoming base. The cup-with-handle buy point is 238.65.


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