The continuing weakness in major tech stocks dragged Wall Street lower on Friday, setting up another nervy week for investors.
US technology shares sold off for the third day in a row, while all three major US indexes posted a third straight week of declines.
It was the Nasdaq’s first weak three-week streak since August 2019 and S&P 500 and Dow’s first since early October last year.
While shares initially rose on the back of reasonable economic data, the anticipation of a dovish statement from the Fed (which happened and then left investors unhappy), positive vaccine news, and M&A activity, the gains were eaten up later in the week as tech stocks came under renewed pressure and the unhappiness with the Fed continued.
Investor angst over the impact of the Federal Reserve’s policy update on Wednesday is still rippling through the market also after the central bank indicated that the economic recovery could be a long one and that it did not expect to lift interest rates for at least another three or four years.
US shares fell 0.6% for their third week of decline in a row, Eurozone shares lost 0.5% and Japanese shares fell 0.2% but Chinese shares rose 2.4%.
Bond yields rose slightly in the US but fell elsewhere. Iron ore prices fell, but copper, gold, and oil prices rose as the $US fell, but the $A was little changed at 72.90 US cents.
Investors worried about the rising coronavirus cases. European countries from Denmark to Greece announced new restrictions on Friday to curb surging infections in some of their largest cities, while Britain is said to be considering a new national lockdown.
Indonesia reported its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections, with 4,168 new cases on Saturday, taking the total to 240,687 while 112 new deaths were reported, taking the total to 9,448.
India now has 5.3 million cases after reporting 93,337 new infections.
Cases in the United Kingdom almost doubled to 6,000 a day in the latest reporting week, hospital admissions rose and infection rates soared across parts of northern England and London.
The Dow closed at 27,657.42, down 244.56 points or 0.9%. The S&P 500 index lost 37.54 points, or 1.1%, to end at 3,319.47 and the Nasdaq fell 116.99 points or 1.1%, to close at 10,793.28. For the week, the Dow lost less than 0.1%, the S&P 500 was down 0.6%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.6%.
The Dow is down 2.72% September-to-date, the S&P 500 off 5.17% and Nasdaq Composite has so far lost 8.34%.