US STOCKS-Tech sell-off hits Wall St as jobless claims remain elevated

US STOCKS-Tech sell-off hits Wall St as jobless claims remain elevated

Reuters  | Sep 18, 2020 01:20

US STOCKS-Tech sell-off hits Wall St as jobless claims remain elevated

(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click LIVE/ or
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* Weekly jobless claims stuck at high levels
* Fed vows to keep rates low until 2023
* Technology stocks sell off, big U.S. banks fall
* Indexes down: Dow 0.78%, S&P 500 1.30%, Nasdaq 2%

(Updates prices to early afternoon)
By Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain
Sept 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes fell on
Thursday after data showed high levels of weekly jobless claims,
while technology-related stocks resumed their slide with Apple
Inc AAPL.O and Inc AMZN.O among the biggest drags
on the Nasdaq.
Nine out of the 11 major S&P 500 sector indexes were lower,
with technology stocks .SPLRCT leading sectoral declines.
"A lot of this is retail investing. Everybody's trying to
book profits, but also trying not to spook markets either," said
William Herrmann, founder and managing partner at Wilshire
Phoenix in New York City.
The Nasdaq .IXIC , which entered correction territory
earlier this month, slipped another 2% by midday trading with
Facebook Inc FB.O , Apple,, Tesla Inc TSLA.O ,
Microsoft Corp MSFT.O , Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O and Netflix Inc
NFLX.O together losing $150 billion in market capitalization
in the first half hour of trading.
Bank stocks .SPXBK slipped 1.4%, while the S&P 500
financials index .SPSY fell 1.2%, a day after the Federal
Reserve pledged to keep interest rates low for a prolonged
period to lift the world's biggest economy out of a
pandemic-induced recession.
But with Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicating a long road to
"maximum employment", stock markets were disappointed by the
lack of firmer details around the central bank's stimulus plan.
"The Fed is out of tools and stock investors are finally
realizing this," said Greg Swenson, founding partner of Brigg
"With rates this low and quantitative easing ramped up,
there is little the Fed can do to help the economy rebound or
limit the fallout from any unexpected economic weakness in the
Adding to concerns around a stalling recovery, the Labor
Department's report showed the number of Americans filing new
claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, but remained
perched at extremely high levels. At 12:59 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was
down 217.76 points, or 0.78%, at 27,814.62 and the S&P 500
.SPX was down 43.95 points, or 1.30%, at 3,341.54.
General Electric Co GE.N rose 4.1% after Chief Executive
Officer Larry Culp said on Wednesday the company's free cash
flow would turn positive in the second half of this year.
Ford Motor Co F.N added 3.8% as it said it had begun
production of the new generation F-150 pickup truck at its
Michigan facility. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.05-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and a 1.59-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded six new 52-week highs and no new low,
while the Nasdaq recorded 28 new highs and 15 new lows.

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