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

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

Reuters  | Sep 18, 2020 00:50

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

(Corrects to say "the S&P 500 financials index", not "the
broader financials subindex", in paragraph 5)
* 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 0.08%, S&P 500 0.54%, Nasdaq 0.95%

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 Amazon.com 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 1% with Facebook Inc FB.O ,
Apple, Amazon.com, 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 1.1%, while the S&P 500
financials index .SPSY fell 0.8%, 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
Macadam.
"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
near-term."
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 11:32 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was
down 21.56 points, or 0.08%, at 28,010.82 and the S&P 500 .SPX
was down 18.26 points, or 0.54%, at 3,367.23.
General Electric Co GE.N rose 5.5% 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. German biotech firm BioNTech SE BNTX.O rose 2.2% as it
said it was buying a production site from Swiss drugs giant
Novartis NOVN.S to boost output of its potential coronavirus
vaccine by several million doses. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.60-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and a 1.29-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded five new 52-week highs and no new
low, while the Nasdaq recorded 26 new highs and 15 new lows.

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