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Wall Street pulls back, weighed down by tech

Stock MarketsFeb 23, 2021 02:45PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) building after the start of Thursday's trading session in New York 2/2

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street retreated on Tuesday as investors shifted away from mega-cap growth stocks, but the sell-off eased following reassurances from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

All three major U.S. indexes were in the red, driven by declines in market-leading tech and tech-adjacent companies which drove the rally that had pushed indexes to record levels despite economic lockdowns.

"A lot of the 'pandemic plays' that saw outsized growth are going to see a slowing of that growth," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. "But I don't think it's going to go away."

"Growth doesn't stop after the pandemic."

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) were among the heaviest weights on the S&P 500, and more acutely, on the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell eased concerns that the central bank's economic support increased the risk of an inflating asset bubble, and insisted that the central bank's accommodative monetary policy would remain in place for "some time."

In prepared remarks ahead of his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Powell said the economic recovery was "uneven and far from complete," later adding that investors are mostly responding to an anticipated rebound as vaccine deployment curbs the pandemic.

"If you look back at (Powell's) initial tenure, there was some ambiguity as to where the Fed stood," said Matthew Keator, managing partner in the Keator Group, a wealth management firm in Lenox, Massachusetts. "But over the last year, in response to the pandemic, he's done an excellent job communicating their commitment to stable markets and full employment."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 67.55 points, or 0.21%, to 31,454.14, the S&P 500 lost 15.81 points, or 0.41%, to 3,860.69 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 199.48 points, or 1.47%, to 13,333.57.

Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, five were in negative territory, with consumer discretionary and tech shares suffering the largest percentage losses.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc plunged 3.8% to enter red territory for the year, pulled down amid the tech selloff and falling bitcoin , which were down 13.9%. Tesla recently invested $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency miners Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:RIOT) Inc and Marathon Patent Group Inc plunged 24.0% and 22.7%, respectively, while bitcoin bank Silvergate Capital (NYSE:SI) Corp slid 23.3%.

Home improvement retailer Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings. But it cast doubt on whether spiking sales, driven by homebound consumers taking on do-it-yourself projects amid COVID lockdowns, are sustainable going forward. Its shares were the heaviest drag on the Dow, falling 3.4%.

Smaller rival Lowe's Companies Inc (NYSE:LOW), expected to report its results early Wednesday, was down 2.7%

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.30-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 4.04-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 46 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 137 new highs and 53 new lows.

Wall Street pulls back, weighed down by tech
 

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Comments (6)
SquadW Name
SquadW Feb 23, 2021 1:49PM ET
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oil stocks are up, mining stocks are up, just sell tech stocks that dont even make money and buy something that has been for the last 50 years like cocacola LOL
Francesco Lucchesi
Francesco Lucchesi Feb 23, 2021 1:13PM ET
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so we are entering high inflation and weak job growth. Powell ready to print more no doubt for many years
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Feb 23, 2021 1:13PM ET
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Just picking up from 2015
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Feb 23, 2021 11:28AM ET
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The flagrant, criminal manipulation of the US Ponzi Scheme presses on, as hundreds of points in losses are removed from the DOW, and the legalized financial defiling of America continues.
Deborah Sbeghen
Deborah Sbeghen Feb 23, 2021 11:28AM ET
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im so sick of shortinh the dow...
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Feb 23, 2021 11:28AM ET
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Biden is weak
All in Buffett Turtle
Turtle Feb 23, 2021 10:18AM ET
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Liquidity is abundant and the market will turn upward again. The rise in bond prices is temporary, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will not be just watching the rate rise. Now it's giving me another chance. Don't be afraid of fear. Enjoy the variable!
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Feb 23, 2021 10:18AM ET
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Liquidity is abundant due to a huge 1 trillion daily repo spigot that's been on full for years now
CT OREN
CT OREN Feb 23, 2021 9:49AM ET
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Dont disappoint us again. Drop more! We want black friday and market crash!
Rajesh Kumar
Rajesh Kumar Feb 23, 2021 9:23AM ET
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How much more will the tech stocks drop? Will Nasdaq go down to 8500.
Tommy Rommazontz
Tommy Rommazontz Feb 23, 2021 9:23AM ET
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wanna bet?
CT OREN
CT OREN Feb 23, 2021 9:23AM ET
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Hope it drop below 5k
Jin News
Jin News Feb 23, 2021 9:23AM ET
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no I don't think so
 
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