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US markets close sharply lower on Monday

The US markets closed sharply lower on Monday with the Nasdaq falling to its lowest closing level in almost five months, as the biggest and most popular technology stocks plunged. Facebook and Apple led the losses. The sell-off on markets came in from morning trade after a report showed home-builders' confidence plummeted in November. Reflecting growing affordability concerns, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released a report showing a sharp drop in US homebuilder confidence in the month of November. The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index plunged to 60 in November after inching up by one point to 68 in October. Street had expected the index to edge down to 67. With the much bigger than expected decrease, the housing market index dropped to its lowest level since hitting 59 in August of 2016.

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said that Builders report that they continue to see signs of consumer demand for new homes but that customers are taking a pause due to concerns over rising interest rates and home prices. The much bigger than expected pullback by the index was partly due to a steep drop by the component gauging expectations in the next six months, which plummeted to 65 in November from 75 in October. Besides, negative sentiment was also generated amid lingering concerns about the outlook for the global economy along with uncertainty about the potential for a trade deal between the US and China.

Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 395.78 points or 1.56 percent to 25,017.44, S&P 500 dropped 45.54 points or 1.66 percent to 2,690.73 and Nasdaq was down by 219.40 points or 3.03 percent to 7,028.40.

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