(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks tumbled to the lowest in a week after an unexpected rise in jobless claims rekindled concern the economic recovery has stalled. The dollar weakened and Treasuries rose.
The S&P 500 Index slipped from a four-month high, led by losses in technology firms and companies that make non-essential consumer goods. The Nasdaq 100 Index dropped to a two-week low and turned lower for the week, erasing Monday’s rally that was the biggest since April. Twitter Inc. jumped after daily-user growth surged, but Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc. each lost more than 3%. . Microsoft Corp. slumped after cloud growth slowed. Tesla Inc. slid even after results beat estimates.
The first uptick in jobless claims since March comes as Congress negotiates a new relief package for millions of Americans who are set to lose enhanced benefits at the end of the month. Other worrying signs of economic slowing added to concern that the torrid growth in some areas will stall out.
“The recovery is in place, but the labor market is really, really fragile,” said Gene Goldman, chief investment officer at Cetera Financial Group. “That’s going to weight on the markets and it’s going to weigh on consumers for a long time.”
The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 0.58%, while Bloomberg’s dollar index weakened for a fifth straight day. Crude slumped, while precious metals continued their torrid run of gains that have taken gold and silver prices to multiyear highs.
In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index increased on gains in carmakers and consumer products, led by Unilever NV’s jump after sales fell less than expected. The yield on Italy’s benchmark bonds fell below 1% for the first time since March amid euphoria over the Europe Union’s pandemic recovery package.
Positive signals emerging from an earnings season that is expected to be historically weak had been driving investors into risk assets. An increase in U.S.-China tensions and a resurgence in the virus across large swaths of America deadened some of that optimism.
“Whenever the markets get to a point where there’s something just around the corner that they’re very focused on, that is when they sort of stop -- whether they were trending higher or trending lower -- they sort of start to trend sideways, but get choppy intra-day and start reacting more or less to headlines,” said Shawn Cruz, senior manager of trader strategy at TD Ameritrade Inc.
Here are some key events coming up:
Quarterly earnings gather steam, with reports due from Intel and Mattel.
These are the main moves in markets:
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