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Wall Street falls in choppy trading as tech sell-off resumes

Credit: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID

U.S. stocks turned lower in volatile trading on Friday as worries about rising coronavirus cases and a patchy economic recovery dampened risk sentiment, with technology-related stocks reversing early gains to extend their declines to a third day.

By Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain

Sept 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks turned lower in volatile trading on Friday as worries about rising coronavirus cases and a patchy economic recovery dampened risk sentiment, with technology-related stocks reversing early gains to extend their declines to a third day.

Wall Street's three main indexes bounced earlier this week as investors bet on a loose monetary policy by the Federal Reserve, but gains petered out in the absence of firm details on the central bank's stimulus plan.

The S&P 500 .SPX and the Nasdaq .IXIC have also come under pressure from investors rotating out of high-flying tech-related stocks and into industrial and transportation firms.

"There's no urgency to sort of step-up-and-buy the market because a lot of people have many questions about coronavirus, the election, the Federal Reserve and the lack of fiscal stimulus, and then there are questions about valuations," said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

Apple Inc AAPL.O, Microsoft Corp MSFT.O, Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O and Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O led declines on the Nasdaq, which fell between 1.5% and 2%.

Volatility is likely to be higher on Friday related to a quarterly expiration of U.S. stock options, stock index futures and index option contracts, known as "quadruple witching".

Out of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, financials .SPSY and industrials .SLPRCI rose the most, while technology .SLPRCT, real estate .SLPRCR and utilities .SLPRCU were the biggest decliners.

Industrials, materials .SPLRCM and energy .SPNY have gained more than 2% so far this week, while communication services .SPLRCL and consumer discretionary .SPLRCD eyed the biggest weekly declines.

At 11:27 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 45.63 points, or 0.16%, at 27,856.35, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 15.74 points, or 0.47%, at 3,341.27 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 71.77 points, or 0.66%, at 10,838.51.

Tesla rose 5% as two analysts raised their price targets on the electric carmaker's shares ahead of its highly anticipated "Battery Day" event next week.

Oracle Corp ORCL.N fell 0.1% after Reuters reported the U.S. Commerce Department plans to issue an order on Friday that will bar people in the United States from downloading Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok starting on Sept. 20.

Nike Inc NKE.N rose 0.3% as several brokerages raised their price targets ahead of the world's largest sportswear maker's quarterly results next week.

On a bright note, a survey showed U.S. consumer sentiment improved in early September.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.11-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.35-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 10 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 54 new highs and nine new lows.

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

((Shreyashi.Sanyal@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780; +91 961 144 3740; Twitter: https://twitter.com/s_shreyashi;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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