The three major domestic equity indexes lost ground for a second straight day on Friday, weighed down by another rise in Treasury yields in the wake of a solid jobs report that capped off a week of robust data.
The losses were led by heavyweight stocks in the technology and communication services sectors including all members of the so-called FAANG group – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet. Amazon, part of the consumer discretionary sector, lost 1 percent.
According to a Labor Department report, nonfarm payrolls increased less than expected during September, due to Hurricane Florence, though data for July and August was revised higher, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent.
The report pushed longer-dated U.S. Treasury yields higher, with the 10-year note hitting 3.248 percent. That put pressure on equities, which are trading near record-high levels, and raising concerns about valuations in the pricier names with earnings season just beginning.
Meanwhile, interest rate futures traders are expecting a Fed rate hike in December while the bond market’s gauges on investors’ inflation outlook rose.
For the week, the S&P fell 0.98 percent, the Dow slipped 0.04 percent and the Nasdaq dropped 3.2 percent. It was the biggest weekly decline for the Nasdaq since March.
Still, equities closed off session lows. The S&P found support at its 50-day moving average at 2,877 and the Nasdaq at its 100-day moving average of 7,778.
The technology sector fell 1.27percent, dropping for the second day in a row due to a decline by Intel and Microsoft.
Apple fell 1.6 percent after David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital said it sold its remaining shares in the company on growing fear of “Chinese retaliation against America’s trade policies”.
The recently constituted communication services sector, which houses Netflix, Facebook and Alphabet, was down 1.04 percent.
The only gainer among the 11 major S&P sectors was the defensive utilities index, which advanced 1.57 percent.
Tesla fell 7.05 percent after CEO Elon Musk stirred nerves about the settlement of his securities fraud lawsuit by mocking the SEC on Twitter. Einhorn said his Tesla short was his second largest winner last quarter.
Approximately 7.62 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, as compared to the 7.16 billion share average over the past 20 trading days.