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Why the Dow Is Gaining and the Nasdaq Is Slumping Today

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It has been a tale of two very different indexes so far on Monday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has surged higher on the back of the Senate’s tax reform deal, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has slumped.

The Dow’s rally today is being supported by continued strength in the financial sector. Index component JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Free Report) was up over 2.3% in morning trading, touching a new all-time high in the process.

Meanwhile, investment banking behemoth Goldman Sachs, which is one of the most heavily-weighted members of the index, was up about 1.5% on Wednesday morning. Other notable Dow stocks in the green include American Express (AXP - Free Report) , Disney (DIS - Free Report) , and Procter & Gamble (PG - Free Report) .

Shares of Disney gained as much as 6% in morning hours after reports of reignited buyout talks between Disney and Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA - Free Report) surfaced. According to the latest batch of rumors, Disney has started talking to Fox about purchasing some of its assets again, with a renewed focus on its fellow media giant’s TV and movie studios (also read: Why Shares of Disney, Fox & Comcast Surged Today).

Led by these strong gains, the Dow gained about 1% in Wednesday morning trading, touching an intraday high of 24,534.04 in the process. On the other hand, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dove as much as 0.5% to reach an intraday low of 6,798.48.

The Nasdaq’s sluggishness comes as investors continue to transition away from the technology sector, which has dominated Wall Street for the majority of 2017.

More specifically, it looks like the red-hot semiconductor industry is starting to cool off, as shares of companies like Micron Technology (MU - Free Report) , Applied Materials (AMAT - Free Report) , and Nvidia (NVDA - Free Report) have all dropped significantly over the past few trading periods.

Before this selloff, the Nasdaq had soared about 30% on the year, eventually settling at a new all-time high in late November. That run-up was inspired by another strong earnings report season, but now it appears that many investors are cashing out of the sector—with strong profits from this year’s rally.

Additionally, the tech sector is still viewed as a high-volatility area by many investors, and recent geopolitical news may be forcing people towards more “safe and sound” options. Despite sector-wide earnings and revenue growth, Wall Street is quick to jump out of volatile areas when the threat of crisis looms—and it is probably fair to say that North Korea’s recent missile testing has caused that threat to rise.

Want more stock market analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!

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