US tech extends losses in worst week since March

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US stocks continued to rock wildly after stopping a five-month rally last week, with the S&P 500 going higher in the final hour of trading.The high tech index climbed 3% high to low on Friday and was heading for the fifth loss in six days. It is down 10% from its September 2 record. The rout comes after a scorching August that capped a 58% rally from late March. Apple Inc. has plunged 16% from its 10-day high, but remains only at a month-long low.

“You see this kind of volatility when there’s an information gap for investors and we don’t have good data,” said Erika Karp, Founder and CEO of Cornerstone Capital Group. “Markets can adapt when there is certainty, but when there is extreme uncertainty and when we are in a period of transition, you are going to have volatility.”

The S&P 500 edged higher, with three stocks rising for each one falling. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced on rallies from Nike, Dow and Caterpillar.

Tech, the scene of fervent bullish options activity, ditched early gains for a second day as investors assessed whether the pullback had taken its course. Sales resumed on Friday after Bloomberg announced that SoftBank Group Corp. was considering revamping a controversial strategy of using derivatives to invest in technology companies. Microsoft took a hit after a report that China was not promoting a forced sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations.

T-bills rose, pushing the 10-year yield towards 0.67%, while the dollar remained slightly lower. The yen has been flat, oil has changed little, and gold has fallen.

Global stocks remain on track for the first consecutive weekly declines since March after a rally that added US $ 7 trillion to the value of US stocks. The pandemic continues to rock the global economy, with US data showing cracks in recent labor market strength and cases of the virus continue to climb globally.

“When you see these short-term abrupt movements after a build-up like the one we had, it doesn’t mean you’re avoiding the area, but you have to be prepared for it to be the price of admission to be there.” Said Charles Day, Managing Director and Private Wealth Advisor at UBS Global Wealth Management. “Investors need to stay invested, we are still positive on stocks.”

In Europe, traders are watching closely for comments from European Central Bank officials after President Christine Lagarde sparked a euro rally on Thursday when she made relatively moderate comments about the currency’s surge. Chief economist Philip Lane set a harsher tone on Friday, signaling that more monetary stimulus may be needed. Meanwhile, the British pound was heading for its biggest weekly drop since March, as Brexit negotiations unraveled.

In other markets, crude oil hovered around US $ 37 a barrel in New York City and gold fell. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose, ending a seven-day losing streak.

Here are the main movements in the markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 rose 0.3% at 3:37 p.m. in New York.
  • The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.5 percent.
  • The Nasdaq 100 index fell 0.5%.

Devises

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1 percent.
  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 106.12 to the dollar.
  • The euro rose 0.1 percent to US $ 1.1829.

Obligations

  • The yield on two-year Treasuries fell by one basis point to 0.13 percent, the lowest in a week.
  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 0.67%, the lowest in a week.
  • The yield on 30-year Treasuries fell less than a basis point to 1.42 percent, the lowest in a week.

Basic products

  • West Texas Intermediate crude remained stable at US $ 37.30 per barrel.
  • Gold futures fell 0.8% to US $ 1,949 an ounce.



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