By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global stocks turned lower on Thursday as U.S. markets opened and were weighed down by weakness in the technology sector, while the dollar continued its bounce from more than two-year lows.
The S&P technology sector <.SPLRCT>, up more than 35% on the year as the best-performing of the 11 major sectors, fell 5.52% as investors look for cheaper stocks in other areas.
Signs the U.S. economy’s rebound from coronavirus-driven lockdowns could be stalling in the absence of another round of fiscal stimulus also weighed.
While weekly initial jobless claims fell more than anticipated, the remained extremely high. In addition, the methodology used in the weekly report to address seasonal fluctuations was changed, which analysts said led to fewer claims than over the past two months.
“We’re going to struggle to put people back to work; it’s going to be another three to four years and then we have to sustain it,” said Greg Hahn, chief investment officer at Winthrop Capital Management in Indiana.
Investors will closely watch Friday’s August employment report for further signs of labor market stagnation.
Other data showed growth in the services sector slowed last month, as the boost from fiscal stimulus and business reopenings faded, although it remained above the level signifying growth.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 716.44 points, or 2.46%, to 28,384.06, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 116.68 points, or 3.26%, to 3,464.16 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 580.14 points, or 4.81%, to 11,476.31.
Talks on a new fiscal stimulus package remained at a stalemate, as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday that “serious differences” remain between Democrats and the White House.
European shares relinquished early gains and turned negative after rising more than 1.2% as the weakness in tech names <.SX8P> spread, pulling them down 3.55%.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> lost 1.04% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> shed 2.45%.
The dollar continued to bounce after hitting its lowest level since late April 2018 on Tuesday, while the euro continued its recent slide to dip as low as $1.1789 after climbing as high as $1.20 earlier in the week after the European Central bank expressed concerns about its rapid rise.
The dollar index <=USD> rose 0.338%, with the euro
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes
Oil prices weakened, with both Brent and WTI crude hitting one-month lows on worries about weaker U.S. gasoline demand and a slowdown in the economic recovery.
(Additional reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler)