The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Tech slide pulls S&P 500 down for its 5th straight loss


Wall Street capped a choppy day of trading Friday with another pullback for stocks and the S&P 500’s first weekly loss in three weeks.

The benchmark index fell 0.8 percent, its fifth straight decline, and ended 1.7 percent lower for the holiday-shortened week. That’s it’s biggest weekly drop since June. The other major U.S. stock indexes also posted weekly losses.

The selling was widespread, though technology, health care and communicat­ions stocks weighed most heavily on the S&P 500. Smaller company stocks also fell broadly. Treasury yields mostly rose. The price of U.S. crude oil rose 2.3 percent.

Stocks have traded in a narrow range for several weeks as most investors are sitting on the sidelines waiting to get a fuller understand­ing of where the economy is headed and how the pandemic is impacting corporatio­ns.

“There isn’t any new good news coming, and that’s important because we’ve gotten a decent amount of good news that has flowed up until this point this year,” said Liz Young, head of investment strategy at personal finance company SoFi.

The S&P 500 fell 34.70 points to 4,458.58. The index is now within 1.8 percent of the all-time high it set last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 271.66 points, or 0.8 percent, to 34,607.72. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite shed an early gain, dropping 132.76 points, or 0.9 percent, to 15,115.49.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 21.58 points, or 1 percent, to 2,227.55.

Investors mulled a negative piece of inflation data Friday. Inflation at the wholesale level climbed 8.3 percent last month from August 2020, the biggest annual gain since the Labor Department started calculatin­g the 12-month number in 2010.

Federal Reserve policymake­rs have said they believe inflation this year would be temporary and is a result of the economy recovering from the pandemic. However, persistent­ly high inflation could force the Fed’s hand to start pulling back on its bond-buying program and low interest rate policy sooner than anticipate­d.

The bond market had a mild reaction to the inflation data, a possible sign that investors continue to agree with the Fed’s outlook. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.33 percent from 1.30 percent.

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