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Wall Street stumbles as tech slide deepens


By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) - fell on Thursday as a recent selloff in technology deepened and investors fretted about the economy's health as the Federal Reserve raises

The S&P technology sector <.SPLRCT> fell 0.5 percent, continuing a slide that began last Friday, although it had been down more earlier. Apple shares fell 0.8 percent while Google parent Alphabet dropped 1 percent after separate bearish analysts reports on the two tech heavyweights.

The consumer discretionary sector <.SPLRCD> dropped 0.5 percent, as shares fell 1.4 percent. Nike was off 3.3 percent after the company said it would cut about 2 percent of its global workforce and eliminate a quarter of its shoe styles.

Tech and consumer discretionary have been among the sectors that have charged the benchmark S&P 500's 8.5-percent rally this year.

"You seem to be losing some momentum in the big growth names that have led the market so far this year," said Walter Todd, chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital Associates in Greenwood, South Carolina. "At the same time, the economic data has just not been good enough to get investors excited about buying into other areas of the market."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 26.71 points, or 0.12 percent, to 21,347.85, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 6.87 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,431.05 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 34.08 points, or 0.55 percent, to 6,160.82.

Financials <.SPSY> and energy <.SPNY>, sectors that should thrive during economic expansions, also sold off, dropping 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Real estate <.SPLRCR> and utilities <.SPLRCU>, which are high-dividend paying groups known as "bond proxies", gained 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Long-dated U.S. Treasury yields tumbled to their lowest since early November on Wednesday after surprisingly weak data on inflation and retail sales overshadowed the Fed's interest rate hike.

"If your best performing sectors are real estate and utilities, it's a good sign that are dominating the equity market," said Brian Nick, chief investment strategist with TIAA Investments, an affiliate of Nuveen.

Following disappointing economic data on Wednesday, a report showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to shrinking labour market slack that could allow the Fed to raise again this year despite moderate inflation growth.

In other corporate news, Kroger shares tumbled 18.9 percent after the supermarket chain slashed its full-year profit forecast.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.83-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.07-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

(Additional reporting by Megan Davies in New York, Yashaswini Swamynathan and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Nick Zieminski)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)