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Tech leads decline in U.S. stocks; oil jumps


Tech companies led declines in U.S. equities as investors rotated away from the stocks that thrived during the pandemic. Oil jumped after the Suez Canal was blocked by a giant container ship.

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Zoom Video Communications Inc., Peloton Interactive Inc. and DocuSign Inc. were among the worst performers on the Nasdaq 100. Energy producers, banks and transportation companies fared better as traders bought up cyclical stocks. The dollar strengthened.

Demand increased at an auction of five-year Treasury notes, boosting the bid-to-cover ratio from the previous sale, a relief after last month's disastrous seven-year auction sparked a global sell-off in bonds. Investors are also wagering on which sectors of the stock market are poised to fare the best as growth picks up.

"As long as we continue to exceed expectations on the economic front, which I think we will, the cyclical trade is still going to have legs," Brian Nick, chief investment strategist at Nuveen, told Bloomberg Television.

European stocks eked out a gain. A gauge of Asia-Pacific shares fell the most in almost three weeks. Hong Kong equities dropped to a 10% correction amid the city's decision to temporarily suspend BioNTech SE vaccines.

West Texas Intermediate crude added more than 5% after a container ship ran aground in the Suez Canal and blocked traffic in both directions on one of the world's busiest maritime trade routes.

These are some of the main moves in financial markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 Index fell 0.5% as of 4 p.m. EDT.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose less than 0.1%.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 2%.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index dipped 2%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.3%.

The euro fell 0.3% to $1.1814.

The British pound sank 0.5% to $1.3688.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.1% to 108.68 per dollar.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasurys fell two basis points to 1.6%.

Germany's 10-year yield fell one basis point to -0.36%.

Britain's 10-year yield was little changed at 0.76%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude gained 5.2% to $60.74 a barrel.

Gold strengthened 0.4% to $1,733.76 an ounce.

Published : March 25, 2021

By : Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Vildana Hajric