The three main Wall Street indexes fell at the close of trading Thursday, February 18. Investors shook off major technology stocks and the US unemployment rate rose last week, indicating a fragile recovery in the labor market. Besides, before we continue, you can also read more at alphabetastock.com if you need more news regarding the stock exchange.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 119.68 points or 0.38 percent to 31,493.34, the S&P 500 index fell 17.36 points or 0.44 percent to 3,913.97, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 100.14 points or 0. 72 percent to 13,865.36.
Apple Inc, Tesla Inc, and Facebook Inc shares weighed on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes of technology sector stocks.
In that trade, Facebook shares plunged 1.5 percent to $ 269.39 as Wall Street assessed that there would be broader consequences from the company’s move to block all news content in Australia.
The movement of the stock market towards the end of this week is inversely proportional to the situation at the beginning of the week when the US stock index hit record highs following progress on the launch of vaccinations and hopes of a USD 1.9 trillion stimulus package.
Jason Pride, Chief Investment Officer for Private Wealth at Glenmede in Philadelphia, said that a months-long rally suggests stocks are now valuing highly.
Concern over the projected rising inflation has prompted investors to book stock gains. The S&P 500 index has the highest valuations in the technology and communications services sector, which has supported a 76 percent gain in the S&P 500 since its March 2020 lows.
Meanwhile, a Labor Department report showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose to 861,000 last week, from 848,000 the previous week. Partly due to potential claims related to the temporary closure of auto plants due to a global shortage of semiconductor chips.
Of the 11 main S&P 500 sectors, only the utilities and consumer policy sectors rose, while the real estate sector fell only 0.02 percent.
Walmart Inc shares fell 6.5 percent to $ 137.66 after the world’s biggest retailer missed forecasts for quarterly profit and forecast a single-digit increase in net sales for fiscal 2022.
Walmart has invested heavily in online advertising and health care businesses over the past year, using the pandemic-fueled sales momentum to diversify beyond physical retail.