Wall Street falls in choppy trading as tech sell-off resumes

Jerome Powell wearing glasses and a suit and tie Jerome Powell chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve pauses while speaking during a news conference in Washington D.C. on Tuesday

Jerome Powell wearing glasses and a suit and tie Jerome Powell chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve pauses while speaking during a news conference in Washington D.C. on Tuesday

Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc, which helped to fuel the market's rally off the March lows, were among the biggest drags on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq on Friday, while the S&P 500 technology index fell 1.7 percent, the biggest weight among the S&P 500 sectors.

Friday marked the quarterly expiration of U.S. stock options, stock index futures and index option contracts, known as "quadruple witching", bringing increased trading volume at the market close. Last week, the Nasdaq's losses put the index down 10% from its closing record, confirming a correction began on September 2.

From the March market lows, "this has been an awesome recovery represented by a few good tech names", said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Dollarhide said he expects tech-related names to bounce back before the end of the year. S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.75 points, or 0.17% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 60 points, or 0.54%.

Of the 11 major S&P indexes, industrials, materials and energy have gained more than 2% so far this week, while communication services and consumer discretionary have posted the biggest declines.

The index of leading economic indicators expanded 1.2 per cent month on month in August, lower than 1.3 per cent of market expectation and 2 per cent in July, according to the data issued by the Conference Board on Friday. Banks tend to benefit from higher borrowing costs.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates low for a prolonged period to lift the world's biggest economy out of a pandemic-induced recession.

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As of writing, the S&P 500 Index was down 0.3% on the day at 3,347, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was losing 0.45% at 27,780 and the Nasdaq Composite was falling 0.12% at 10,897.

"Investors love when the Fed lowers rates, because they feel that's good for market", Dollarhide said.

"We've come a long way from (President Donald) Trump saying the Fed is "loco" for raising rates".

Ford Motor Co F.N gained as it said it had begun production of the new generation F-150 pickup truck at its MI facility.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.79-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.35-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 14.31 billion shares, the highest since this year's reconstitution by FTSE Russell of its indexes in June.

US-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower, with eight of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

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