Belfast Telegraph

Tech shares slide as investors favour financial stocks

Wall Street turned in an uneven finish on Friday as investors unloaded their technology company shares in favour of energy and financial stocks.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite, which has outpaced gains by other US stock indexes this year, fell the most. The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed slightly lower.

Even with the sell-off in technology stocks, the Dow Jones industrial average and the Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks closed higher, each setting new highs.

All told, the S&P 500 index fell 2.02 points, or 0.1%, to 2,431.77. The Dow gained 89.44 points, or 0.4%, to 21,271.97.

The Nasdaq declined 113.85 points, or 1.8%, to 6,207.92. The Russell 2000 picked up 6.09 points, or 0.4%, to 1,421.71. The indexes also closed out the week unevenly after several days of trading in a mostly narrow range.

Despite the day's big tech stock slide, more stocks rose than declined on the New York Stock Exchange.

US stocks were coming off a two-day winning streak, which included a record high for the Nasdaq on Thursday. They were on track to extend those gains early Friday, each at one point trading above their most recent closing highs.

But then investors began to unload technology stocks. The sell-off centred on the biggest companies in the stock market: Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Facebook. But the biggest decliner was chipmaker Nvidia, which lost 10.34 dollars, or 6.5%, to 149.60 dollars.

Alphabet, Google's parent company, fell 34.16 dollars, or 3.4%, to 970.12 dollars, while Apple slid 6.01 dollars, or 3.9%, to 148.98 dollars.

The technology sector fell 2.7%. It remains up 18.5% for the year.

Traders also bid up shares in energy companies as the price of crude oil rose.

Small-company stocks were among the big gainers, receiving a boost from a stronger dollar following the British general election. A stronger dollar tends to benefit small-cap stocks, because they tend to not have as much exposure to international markets as large-cap stocks.

The pound lost more than 2 cents versus the dollar after the Conservatives lost their majority in Parliament, which could send Britain's negotiations to leave the European Union, due to start June 19, into disarray.

The pound weakened to 1.2724 dollars from 1.2943 dollars. The dollar also strengthened to 110.20 yen from 109.94 yen late Thursday. The euro weakened to 1.1195 dollars from 1.1222 dollars.

Germany's DAX rose 0.8%, while France's CAC 40 gained 0.7%. Britain's FTSE 100 added 1%. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.5%, while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.8%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.1%.