Big tech stocks drag down Nasdaq - RTHK
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Big tech stocks drag down Nasdaq

2021-07-16 HKT 04:33
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  • Wall Street ended the session mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing higher, but the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both fell. File photo: Shutterstock
    Wall Street ended the session mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing higher, but the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both fell. File photo: Shutterstock
The Nasdaq ended lower on Thursday, pulled down by Apple, Amazon and other Big Tech companies as a fall in weekly jobless claims data fed investor concerns about a recent inflation spike.

Amazon, Apple Tesla and Facebook all fell. Nvidia tumbled around 4 percent.

The S&P 500 technology sector index ended a four-day winning streak. Earlier this week, investors' support for heavyweight growth stocks pushed the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record highs.

The S&P 500 energy sector index fell more than 1 percent and tracked a drop in crude prices on expectations of more supply after a compromise agreement between leading OPEC producers.

Fresh data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to a 16-month low, while worker shortages and bottlenecks in the supply chain have frustrated efforts by businesses to ramp up production to meet strong demand for goods and services.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers he anticipated the shortages and high inflation would abate. Yet many investors still worry that more sustained inflation could lead to a sooner-than-expected tightening of monetary policy.

"People are very nervous and concerned about inflation, tax rates and the (2022 midterm) election. Those three things are very much on people's minds," said 6 Meridian Chief Investment Officer Andrew Mies, describing recent phone calls with his firm's clients.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 percent to 34,987, the S&P 500 lost 0.3 percent to 4,360 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.7 percent, to 14,543.

Morgan Stanley dipped as much as 1.2 percent after it beat expectations for quarterly profit, getting a boost from record investment banking activity even as the trading bonanza that supported results in recent quarters slowed down.

Second-quarter reporting season kicked off this week, with the four largest U.S. lenders - Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase - posting a combined US$33 billion in profits, but also highlighting the industry's sensitivity to low interest rates.

Blackstone said late on Wednesday it would pay US$2.2 billion for a 9.9 percent stake in American International Group's life and retirement business. AIG and Blackstone both rallied.

Johnson & Johnson dipped after it voluntarily recalled five aerosol sunscreen products in the United States after detecting a cancer-causing chemical in some samples. (Reuters)