Whenever all our stocks (bar one in this case) move in one direction, there's usually some global macroeconomic or socio-political factor involved. The critical event this week as been social upheaval in Libya, and its effect on the price of oil.
Unless you've been living in a cave you'll be aware that Libya is the latest North African country to kick-off, after popular uprisings saw off the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt. The difference in Libya is that its leader seems determined not to go down without a fight, and that the country is the world's 18th largest producer of crude oil - according to the CIA, of all sources.
Such is the continued global dependence on oil that anything which might interrupt its orderly flow poses all sorts of potential economic knock-on effects. And, of course, there's always the possibility of further contagion. To date Iran - the fourth largest oil producer - has stayed uncharacteristically quiet about North Africa. That's unlikely to remain the case if any Western countries decide to get directly involved.
Apart from that, there have been some mildly disappointing corporate results of late, most recently from HP. This, together with a possible pause in investor optimism towards the mobile Internet market, has led tech stocks downward. Having said that, the tech-heavy NASDAQ is faring no worse than other indices and the definitive mobile stock - ARM - rallied strongly towards the end of last week.
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