Wall Street edges down as tech, bank stocks weigh

Reuters New York | Updated on November 30, 2018 Published on November 30, 2018

Technology shares weighed the most on all three major US stock indexes, with the S&P 500 technology sector down 0.95 per cent.

Investors eyeing US-China trade meeting at G20 summit

Wall Street had closed slightly lower on Thursday as tech and financial shares slumped, erasing earlier gains stemming from Federal Reserve minutes showing the central bank opened the debate on when to pause further interest rate hikes.

All three major US indexes ended the session down a fraction of a per cent. The minutes showed almost all Fed members agreeing that another rate increase was “likely to be warranted fairly soon’’, but also ticked off a series of issues that had begun weighing on their view of the economy. That release briefly lifted equities to the plus side, but gains faded into the close.

Wall Street rallied a day earlier as comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell signalled to many investors that the Fed's three-year tightening cycle could be drawing to a close.

“The Fed's stance is much more dovish than it was earlier in the year,” said Matthew Keator, partner in the Keator Group, a wealth management firm in Lenox, Massachusetts. “(The Fed has) also signaled they're going to look at data as opposed to just being ideologically set on a particular policy of just raising rates to more normal historical averages.”

Tariff jitters continued to preoccupy investors as they eyed the upcoming G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where US President Donald Trump was due to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Saturday to discuss trade. Trump had sent mixed signals on Thursday about a potential trade deal between the world's two largest economies, lending to a choppy session.

Technology shares weighed the most on all three major US stock indexes, with the S&P 500 technology sector down 0.95 per cent. Interest rate-sensitive financials dropped 0.8 per cent, as US 10-year Treasury yields continued to fall following the release of the Fed minutes.

Among large US banks, shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc, Bank of America Corp, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley ended the session down between 0.8 and 1.8 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27.59 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 25,338.84, the S&P 500 lost 5.99 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 2,737.8 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 18.51 points, or 0.25 perc ent, to 7,273.08.

Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, five closed in negative territory. Twitter Inc dropped 4.4 per cent after a Politico report that Fox News boycotted the social media network seemed to fuel worries over a wider backlash.

Dollar Tree Inc rose 6.1 per cent after the discount retailer said tariffs would have a minimal impact this year. Shares of teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Finch Co jumped 20.9 per cent after forecasting better-than-expected holiday sales.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.08-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.23-to-1 ratio favoured decliners. The S&P 500 posted 20 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 41 new highs and 63 new lows. Volume on US exchanges was 6.85 billion shares, compared to the 7.67 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

Published on November 30, 2018
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