By Medha Singh
(Reuters) – U.S. stocks tumbled on Friday, weighed down by rising Treasury yields after data showed job growth slowed in September, while wage increases were not enough to fan worries over rising inflation or faster interest rates hikes.
The losses were led by heavyweight stocks in the technology and communication services sectors, including the so-called FAANG group – Facebook
Apple fell 2.7 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”.
That added to the pressure on the stock market from earlier in the session after the September jobs report.
Nonfarm payrolls increased less than expected in September, likely due to the effect of Hurricane Florence, though data for July and August was revised higher, a Labor Department report showed.
“Good news for economy is bad news for equity investors right now,” said Michael Geraghty, equity strategist at Cornerstone Capital Group’s in New York.
“The labor report on the surface looked a bit weak but once you got under the surface it kind of supported the story of a strong labor market.”
The report pushed longer-dated U.S. Treasury yields higher. That piled more pressure on U.S. stocks, which are trading near record-high levels, raising concerns about valuations with the earnings season just around the corner.
The technology sector <.SPLRCT> sank 2 percent, dropping for the second day in a row as it also took a hit from a fall in shares of Intel
The communication services sector <.SPLRCL>, which houses Netflix, Facebook and Alphabet, dropped 1.5 percent.
At 13:18 EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was down 276.53 points, or 1.04 percent, at 26,350.95, the S&P 500 <.SPX> was down 27.89 points, or 0.96 percent, at 2,873.72.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was down 146.44 points, or 1.86 percent, at 7,733.07, its lowest since mid August.
The CBOE Volatility index <.VIX>, a gauge of investor anxiety, rose 2.48 points, climbing for the second day.
The only gainers among the 11 major S&P sectors were defensive utilities <.SPLRCU>, which advanced 1.5 percent and real estate <.SPLRCR> up 0.4 percent.
Tesla was down 7 percent after CEO Elon Musk stirred nerves about the settlement of his securities fraud lawsuit by mocking the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Twitter. Greenlight’s David Einhorn said his Tesla short was the second biggest winner last quarter.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.90-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 3.43-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded nine new 52-week highs and 22 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 15 new highs and 107 new lows.
(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Shounak Dasgupta)