Stocks and index ETFs are continuing their slide on Friday after sinking in volatile trading on Thursday as tech shares led the broader market drop and traders absorbed the lackluster unemployment data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.3%, while the S&P 500 fell 1.2%, breaking a four-day green streak for the index. The Nasdaq Composite lost 2.2%, hastening the sell-off in major technology companies. All three indices are down at least another 0.5% in Friday trading, as investors are selling most sectors. The Nasdaq is holding above its worst levels, however, as of late morning trade.
Stock index ETFs are trading red along with their underlying benchmarks. The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), are all showing losses in late morning trade Friday, while the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) is attempting to climb back after the taking the heaviest hits.
The S&P 500 “is getting hit very hard as investors sell out of tech, a group that came into the CQ2 reporting season with impossibly high expectations,” Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge, said in a note on Thursday. “Tech stocks were simply wildly overbought, over owned, and overvalued, and there probably wasn’t anything they could have done differently with earnings to spur further gains.”
Christopher Harvey, Senior Analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, explained how the Nasdaq, which is filled with these “uber-cap” tech stocks has catalyzed the sizable gains off the 2020 lows, adding: “We are seeing growing similarities to the late 1990s.”
“Overall, our intermediate-term worry is that a melt-up may destabilize the marketplace and easy come, easy go – i.e., as stocks aggressively discount easy 1H21 comps but do not factor in political risks,” Harvey said in a note.
Stocks traded lower Thursday after making new highs in the overnight futures session amid news that the Labor Department revealed Thursday that initial jobless claims reached 1.416 million for the week ending July 18, the 18th straight week in which initial claims tallied over 1 million. The weekly claims also increased for the first time in almost 4 months, which happened to be the same week that was utilized by the government to conduct the survey for the monthly employment report.
“The surge of COVID cases in the Sun Belt and the stalling out of reopening activities in other states has seemingly caused another round of layoffs that has stymied the nascent labor market recovery,” said Thomas Simons, money market economist at Jefferies, in a note.
There was some positive news on Friday however, despite stocks continuing to fall. The IHS Markit said its U.S. flash manufacturing purchasing managers index climbed to 51.3 in July from 49.8 in June. Any reading above the 50 neutral mark indicates improving conditions, while readings below that measure indicates contraction. The flash services purchasing managers index rose only to 49.6 from 47.9 in June however.
For more market trends, visit ETF Trends.