Nvidia, the "AI" locomotive that single-handedly took US indices from record highs to record highs in the second quarter, seems to be skating on an upward slope that becomes too steep at the start of the third quarter.

The 'loco' suddenly loses traction and starts to slide backwards, faster and faster with -6.7% on Monday, doubling its losses of the previous two sessions (i.e. -13% in 72 hours, representing -$400 billion in evaporated 'capi', the equivalent of LVMH).

This first session of the July stock market term thus ended in the red for the two leading indices of the first half: the S&P 500 gave up 0.3% to 5,448 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 1.1% to 17,497.

The semiconductor sector fell by 2.8% and finished last out of Wall Street's 11 sectors. In contrast, the oil sector dominated the rankings thanks to gains by its usual leaders.

The historic Dow Jones index continued to make up ground on the S&P, gaining nearly +0.7% to 39,411, and even testing 39,570 during the session (bringing the Dow to within 1.1% of its record highs).

More generally, a number of questions were being raised in the run-up to the first presidential election debate. Will Joe Biden be able to stand up to Donald Trump in what could be a "no-holds-barred" debate?

The markets are also likely to remain plagued by uncertainties about the pace of inflation in the US. Against this backdrop, market participants will be keeping a close eye on Friday's release of the PCE inflation index, which the Fed is keeping a particularly close eye on.

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