Stocks tumble as tech and energy dip in late-day selloff

Initial jobless claims held at 884,000

U.S. equity markets reversed course, giving up earlier gains, to end the session lower as investors reviewed disappointing jobless claims data and continued to hedge mega-cap technology names.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14969.969964 -77.73 -0.52%
NFLX NETFLIX, INC. 592.64 +0.25 +0.04%
TSLA TESLA, INC. 791.36 +16.97 +2.19%

The Nasdaq Composite led the selling, closing down about 2%, with Netflix among the weaker performers.

Tesla, however, bucked the downtrend with shares continuing to recover after an 11% jump on Wednesday. They fell 21% on Tuesday.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34869.37 +71.37 +0.21%
AAPL APPLE, INC. 145.37 -1.55 -1.05%
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 294.17 -5.18 -1.73%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 400 points, or 1.4%, with Apple and Microsoft among the biggest weights. Financials joined tech as the biggest laggards in the S&P, which ended down 1.76%.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SP500 S&P 500 4443.11 -12.37 -0.28%
XLF FINANCIAL SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF 38.74 +0.52 +1.36%
XLE ENERGY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF 52.71 +1.81 +3.56%
XSW SPDR SERIES TRUST S&P COMPUTER SOFTWARE ETF 177.96 -1.08 -0.60%

Looking at the economy, initial jobless claims for the week ended Sept. 5 totaled 884,000, unchanged from the prior week. Continuing claims, a broader category that measures unemployed workers receiving benefits for longer than a week, climbed to 13.385 million, up from a revised 13.292 million. Both numbers were worse than the Refinitiv consensus.

Looking at stocks, tech giants Alphabet Inc. and Amazon Inc., gave up earlier gains to end lower.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GOOGL ALPHABET, INC. 2,821.44 -22.86 -0.80%
AMZN AMAZON.COM, INC. 3,405.80 -19.72 -0.58%

Nikola Corp. was under pressure after Hindenburg Research accused the electric-truck maker of being “an intricate fraud built on dozens of lies.” The research firm said it established a short position in Nikola shares following its research. This follows the company's deal with General Motors.

SHORT-SELLER ACCUSES GM-BACKED NIKOLA MOTORS OF BEING 'INTRICATE FRAUD'

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NKLA NIKOLA CORP. 11.95 +0.29 +2.49%
GM GENERAL MOTORS CO. 53.24 +1.01 +1.93%

Elsewhere, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat will retire in February 2021, and will be replaced by Jane Fraser, president and chief executive of global consumer banking. Fraser will become the first woman to head a major financial institution in the U.S.

Meanwhile, drugmaker AstraZeneca plc will know by the end of the year if its late-stage trial of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine will restart. The trial was put on hold this week after a participant fell ill.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
C CITIGROUP, INC. 72.26 +1.08 +1.52%
AZN ASTRAZENECA PLC 58.72 -1.63 -2.70%

Looking at earnings, video game retailer GameStop reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss as comparable-store sales fell 12.7% from a year ago. The company said store closings due to COVID-19 and being in the final months of a generation console cycle contributed to the weakness.

Peloton Interactive Inc. shares fell ahead of the release of its quarterly results.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GME GAMESTOP CORP. 189.48 +4.32 +2.33%
PTON PELOTON INTERACTIVE, INC. 92.07 -0.57 -0.62%

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil slid 75 cents to $37.30 per barrel and gold edged up $9.50 to $1,954.20 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys were little changed with the 10-year note yield holding around 0.684%.

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In Europe, France’s CAC slid 0.38% and Germany’s DAX lost 0.21% after the European Central Bank kept rates and its stimulus program unchanged despite the euro over the last four months having strengthened 9% versus the U.S. dollar. Elsewhere in the region, Britain’s FTSE slipped 0.16%.

Asian markets ended mixed with Japan’s Nikkei adding 0.88% while China’s Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.61% and 0.64%, respectively.