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

Kitco News

(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 and the Nasdaq 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, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc 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 and industrials rose the most, while technology, real estate and utilities were the biggest decliners.

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

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

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