Sunday, September 27, 2020

Tech stocks slump as small caps gain

Aug 08. 2020
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By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Claire Ballentine, Katherine Greifeld · BUSINESS, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS

U.S. equities traded mixed as investors weighed doubts that lawmakers will be able to agree on a new round of economic stimulus with a better-than-forecast jobs report.

Tech shares fell as the White House ramped up its confrontation with China, while a better-than-forecast jobs report helped fuel advances for smaller U.S. companies.

The Nasdaq Composite Index pared a weekly increase as heavyweights including Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. fell. Gains for smaller banks, manufacturers and utilities helped lift the Russell 2000. Investors kept a close eye on efforts by the White House and lawmakers to reach a deal to extend a coronavirus relief package, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying he'll recommend President Donald Trump move ahead with executive actions to halt evictions and possibly restore some unemployment aid after talks stalled.

Tech shares were also among the worst performers in Asia after the White House's latest attack on Chinese tech companies and a plan to sanction Hong Kong's chief executive. The dollar strengthened on haven demand, while gold retreated for the first time in six days. Europe's benchmark stock gauge ended higher.

Investors have bid up U.S. stocks back toward record-high levels and a global gauge of equities has almost wiped out losses for the year. But with elevated levels of unemployment, investors had been seeking a new U.S. relief package to cushion the blow for consumers.

"The risk is that a policy failure drains the tentative strength that had been creeping back into the economy in recent months," said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors.

WeChat operator Tencent Holdings Ltd. slumped 5% in Hong Kong after Trump signed executive orders prohibiting U.S. residents from doing any business with WeChat, TikTok or the apps' Chinese owners.Elsewhere, oil slumped along with copper.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

- The S&P 500 Index rose less than 0.1% at 4 p.m. EDT.

- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3%.

- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 1.3%.

- The MSCI Emerging Market Index declined 1.6%.

Currencies

- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.5%.

- The euro sank 0.8% to $1.1786.

- The Japanese yen weakened 0.4% to 105.96 per dollar.

Bonds

- The yield on 10-year Treasurys rose three basis points to 0.56%.

- Germany's 10-year yield rose two basis points to -0.51%.

- Britain's 10-year yield rose three basis points to 0.14%.

Commodities

- West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1% to $41.52 a barrel.

- Gold weakened 1.6% to $2,030.99 an ounce.

- Copper fell 4% to $2.793 per pound.

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