Stocks were mixed Monday, as investors fretted about the implications from a sizeable margin call at a large U.S. hedge fund. Shares recovered a measure of lost ground in the afternoon as investors began buying the quick dip.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 98.49 points, or 0.30% to close at 33,171.37. The S&P 500 fell 3.45 points, or 0.09% to end at 3,971.09, and the Nasdaq Composite slid 79.08 points, or 0.60% to close at 13,059.65. Early in the day, all three major indexes were deeply in the red. The biggest gainer in the S&P 500 with a mere 3.1% share gain was CenterPoint Energy (ticker: CNP), a Houston-based electric and gas utility.
Hedge fund Archegos Capital Management had to liquidate positions worth near $30 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Investment banks Credit Suisse Group (CS) and Nomura Holdings (NMR) said they had made loans against certain stocks to the fund, but Archegos failed to meet its margin requirement, or cash value it must maintain in order to pay down the debt. That means heavy losses at those banks. Credit Suisse and Nomura stock fell 11.5% and 14.1%, respectively. But “a number of other banks are in the process of exiting these positions,” Credit Suisse said in its press release. Accordingly, investment banks Citigroup (C) and Goldman Sachs Group (GS) faw shares fall 2.0% and 0.5%, respectively, off their lows for the day.
On the surface, the issue appears to be centralized to these banks, yet the selling was more widespread than that.
“Archegos Capital was unable to make margin calls last week which resulted in losses, and Nomura and Credit Suisse, and that’s causing some mild anxiety about more potentially forced selling looming in the equity markets,” wrote Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research. In short, investors are afraid that other funds are over-levered—or have too much debt compared to the value in stocks they own—and may also need to sell stocks in order to meet margin requirements.
In today’s soft market, there seemed to be a slight preference for growth stocks over value. Value stocks, mature in their life cycles and more sensitive to perceived changes in the current economy, fell harder than growth did. The Vanguard S&P 500 Value Index ETF (VOOV) fell 0.17%, while its growth counterpart (VOOG) managed to rise 0.12%. Value stocks have had a strong run this year but investors have the appetite to buy the dips in growth.
The Archegos incident isn’t a positive for stocks, but the broader market is working through the wreckage.
Write to Jacob Sonenshine at firstname.lastname@example.org