(Bloomberg) — Technology shares led U.S. stocks lower for the first time in three days with investors continuing to rotate out of this year’s top performers. Treasuries gained with American initial jobless claims posting their smallest weekly decline since March.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100’s drop was among the largest of major U.S. benchmarks, with Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. leading the losses. The information technology, real estate and energy sectors were the biggest decliners in the S&P 500, which had gained more than 2% in the past two days. Utilities were in the green. Trading volume in the S&P was about 23% below the average of the prior 30 days.
“Those valuations have gotten quite a bit ahead of the rest of the market,” said Matt Stucky, portfolio manager at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management. “With earnings season, that could be the catalyst for a little bit of a pullback in tech. Expectations are moving higher and the companies need to deliver against those expectations.”
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index tracked Asian shares lower as Chinese retail sales in June came in softer than expected, even as the economy returned to growth last quarter. The euro strengthened after the European Central Bank kept its emergency monetary stimulus program unchanged.
The economic data from the U.S. and China serve as a reminder of the long road ahead to a full global recovery is quashing optimism seen earlier in the week spurred by progress in developing a coronavirus vaccine. While China is experiencing a modest domestic recovery, the world’s second-largest economy remains vulnerable to setbacks as shutdowns continue to hamper activity across the globe.
”There’s definitely a push-pull,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank. “Certain sectors of the economy are going well and the question now is with this second spike that we’re seeing — and have already seen — and as some states start to tighten back up, while we don’t expect a full lockdown it certainly puts questions on just how quickly this recovery is going to occur.”
Elsewhere, oil retreated from a four-month high after the OPEC+ alliance confirmed it would start tapering output cuts from next month.
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