U.S. equity markets remained under pressure Thursday afternoon as tech stocks bore the brunt of the selling a day after the Federal Reserve said its policy would remain loose for the foreseeable future.
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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX10845.296198-205.17-1.86%
The Nasdaq Composite fell nearly 2% midday, while the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were lower by 1% and 0.5%, respectively.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday afternoon said it expects rates to remain low through 2023 in an effort to support the U.S. economy while it recovers from its COVID-19-induced slowdown, the sharpest of the post-World War II era. The central bank did however upgrade its outlook to reflect a faster bounce back in gross domestic product and a lower unemployment rate.
Looking at the economy, initial claims fell to 860,000 in the week ended Sept. 12, but were slightly above the 850,000 that analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were anticipating. Continuing claims, meanwhile, dropped to 12.628 million and were below the 13 million that was expected.
Looking at stocks, mega-cap tech names, including Apple Inc., Amazon Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Tesla Inc., which have steered the market, were responsible for the Nasdaq’s underperformance.
Snowflake Inc. was under pressure a day after more than doubling in its stock market debut. Wednesday’s initial public offering was the largest for a software company.
Elsewhere, Moderna Inc. CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that the while the company could know the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine in October, it’s more likely to be known in November.
Carnival Corp.’s U.K.-based P&O Cruises canceled voyages to the Caribbean through early 2021. The cruise operator also reached a deal to sell two of its ships that were launched in the mid-1990s.
Southwest Airlines Co. temporarily grounded 130 Boeing 737-800 aircraft after finding a discrepancy in weight data. The airline expects the groundings to have a “minimal” impact on operations.
Meanwhile, online pet food supplier Chewy Inc. announced a $275 million common stock offering. The company plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including growth initiatives.
TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %CHWYCHEWY INC.54.50-1.59-2.83%
Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil ticked up 5 cents to $40.21 per barrel and gold fell $15.50 to $1,955 an ounce.
U.S. Treasurys ticked higher, pushing the yield on the 10-year note lower by 2.1 basis points to 0.666%.
European markets were lower across the board with France’s CAC down 0.7%, Germany’s DAX off 0.64% and Britain’s FTSE weaker by 0.4% after the Bank of England held rates.
In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 1.56% and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.41% while Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.67% after the Bank of Japan kept policy on hold.