Business

Tech stocks drag Wall Street lower

The technology-heavy Nasdaq led Wall Street lower on Thursday as a rotation out of richly valued stocks into underpriced sectors added to pressure from quarter-end rebalancing by institutional investors. The main U.S. stock indexes also shrugged off the Labor Department’s jobless claims report – the timeliest indicator of economic health – that showed fewer-than-expected Americans filed new claims for state unemployment benefits last week. According Reuters News, seven of the 11 S&P sectors fell, ledby thecommunicationservices and technology indexes, whichhousesomeof thebestperforming stocks of 2020 including Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Netflix Inc.

“This is likely just one of those periods where you have a little profit taking and a little quarter-end rebalancing, but this little pullback will probably run its course and we’ll see the market back at new highs fairly soon,” said Jordan Kahn, chief investment officer of ACM Funds in Los Angeles.

The Nasdaq Composite has fallen in March after four straight months of gains as rosy economic projections lifted demand for undervalued cyclical stocks, but also raised fears of higher inflation and a potential tax hike. In testimonies to Congress this week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell expressed optimism about a strong U.S. economic rebound, while Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said future tax hikes will be needed to pay for public investments. President Joe Biden is expected to lay out a new goal for U.S. vaccinations against COVID-19 at his first formal White House news conference beginning. Next week, he is also set to unveil a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure plan in Pittsburgh.

 

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