Technology Stocks Extend Losses

By Riva Gold Features Dow Jones Newswires

Technology stocks ticked lower Friday, extending losses for a sector that has been under pressure over the past week.

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The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2%. The S&P 500 declined 0.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 17 points, or 0.1%, to 21340.

Tech remains the best performing S&P 500 sector in the index in 2017, up 17% year-to-date. But the last week has been rough for the group. Since June 8, the sector tumbled about 3.7%. On Friday, the sector slipped 0.1%, on track for its third consecutive session of declines.

"Tech has done exceptionally well this year," said Yogi Dewan, chief executive at Hassium Asset Management, pointing to signs of solid revenue growth in the sector. "But at these valuations, we're not putting new money into it," he said.

Some of the biggest tech names have posted sharper declines. Since June 8, Apple's stock has tumbled 7.3%, while Google parent Alphabet is 4.6% lower.

Amazon.com shares also struggled in the past week, losing 4.6% through Thursday's close. On Friday the giant internet retailer's stock got a boost, rising 2.9% after the giant internet retailer said it will pay $42 a share for Whole Foods, valuing the grocer at a 27% premium to its closing price Thursday. Whole Foods shares jumped 27% in recent trading, while shares of other grocers fell. Kroger dropped 15%, Costco Wholesale fell 7.6% and Wal-Mart Stores declined 6.3%.

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Despite a wobble in some of this year's best performing stocks, equities posted their greatest weekly inflows this year, according to EPFR Global data. Mr. Dewan said pullbacks this year have been short and overall volatility has been low because of the high cash levels he's seen among investors, with many clients waiting for any pullbacks in the market to add to their stock holdings. Fund managers surveyed by Bank of America increased cash in their portfolios in June, bringing their cash allocations well above the historical average.

Government bond yields were slightly lower, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note at 2.154% from 2.160%. Yields fall as prices rise.

The WSJ Dollar Index slipped 0.2% Friday after climbing significantly earlier this week after the Federal Reserve's Wednesday meeting, where officials signaled further interest rate rises ahead.

Elsewhere Friday, Japanese stocks closed higher after the Bank of Japan kept its policy unchanged and sent the yen lower, while the Stoxx Europe 600 was up 0.5% as shares of Nestlé jumped after the Swiss-based consumer giant put its U.S. confectionery business up for sale.

Markets in Europe and Asia also benefited from a recent climb in the dollar, higher oil prices and news of a long-sought Greek bailout deal, analysts said. Greece's creditors agreed to release the next tranche of its bailout, but put off a final decision on relieving its debt burden until August 2018. The International Monetary Fund also agreed on new measures for Greece.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.3% even as China's central bank boosted market liquidity by making the largest single-day cash injection into the financial system since mid-January. Investors' focus remained on Anbang Insurance Group, whose chairman was allegedly detained by Chinese authorities.

--Corrie Driebusch, Lucy Craymer and Nektaria Stamouli contributed to this article.

Write to Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 16, 2017 10:25 ET (14:25 GMT)