Tech sell-off hits Wall Road as unemployment claims stay excessive

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Federal Reserve on May 1st in Washington


By Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain

(Reuters) – Wall Street major indexes fell Thursday after data showed high levels of weekly jobless claims as technology-related stocks resumed their decline, with Apple Inc (O 🙂 and Inc (O 🙂 among the The Nasdaq was the largest burden.

All 11 major S&P 500 sector indices fell in early trading, with energy stocks () falling as fears of tepid fuel demand hit oil prices.

Bank stocks were down 1.1%, while the broader financials sub-index () fell 1.0% a day after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates low for extended periods of time for the world's largest economy out of a pandemic-induced recession.

However, with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell pointing a long way to "maximum employment", stock markets were disappointed in the lack of more specific details on the central bank's stimulus plan.

"The bulls basically wanted to buy more long-term bonds (and) the fact that the Fed didn't deliver that additional uptrend. Investors are a little more bearish today," said Mike Bailey, director of research at FBB Capital Partners in Bethesda, Maryland.

In addition to concerns about a stalled recovery, the Department of Labor report showed that the number of Americans filing new unemployment benefits had decreased last week but remained at extremely high levels.

The Nasdaq (), which entered the correction area earlier this month, lost another 1.2% Facebook Inc. (O :), Apple,, Tesla Inc (O :), Microsoft Corp. (O :), Alphabet Inc (O 🙂 and Netflix Inc (O 🙂 together lose $ 150 billion in market capitalization in the first half hour of trading.

At 10:08 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average () fell 172.82 points, or 0.62%, to 27,859.56 and the S&P 500 () fell 28.53 points, or 0.84%, to 3,356.96 .

General Electric Co (N 🙂 rose 3.8% after CEO Larry Culp announced Wednesday that the company's free cash flow would be positive in the second half of the year.

Ford Motor Co. (N 🙂 added 1.1% as the company began production of the new generation F-150 pickup at its Michigan facility.

Carnival Corp (N 🙂 fell 1.6% after British cruise line P&O Cruises extended a voyage cancellation until early 2021. Other cruise lines like royal caribbean Cruises (N 🙂 and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (N 🙂 shed 1%.

The German biotech company BioNTech SE (O 🙂 gained 2.7% as it bought a production facility from the Swiss drug giant Novartis (S 🙂 to increase production of its potential coronavirus vaccine by several million doses.

Declining issues were more numerous on the NYSE at 3.12 to 1 and the Nasdaq at 2.13 to 1.

The S&P index did not make a new 52-week high or low, while the Nasdaq made 15 new highs and 14 new lows.

(This story corrects the heading "unemployment claims remain high", not "unemployment claims rise")

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