August 20, 2014
Momentum stocks sink; Nasdaq posts worst day since Feb.
Momentum shares like Netflix and TripAdvisor sold off sharply for a second straight day, giving the Nasdaq its worst day since February and leaving investors anxious about how much further they may fall.
The big drop in momentum stocks overshadowed the day's relatively strong March jobs data, which helped the Dow and S&P 500 hit intraday record highs early in the session.
Nasdaq's 2.6 percent loss follows a nearly 1 percent slide on Thursday and puts the index more than 5 percent below its closing high for the year, which was set on March 5.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 159.84 points or 0.96 percent, to close at 16,412.71. The S&P 500 lost 23.68 points or 1.25 percent, to finish at 1,865.09.
The Nasdaq Composite ended at 4,127.726, down 110.014 points or 2.6 percent, its worst daily percentage loss since February.
For the week, the Dow rose 0.6 percent and the S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent, while the Nasdaq fell 0.7 percent.
The Nasdaq biotech index dropped 4.1 percent to 2,356.60. The index is down about 18 percent from its lifetime high reached in February.
Earlier in the day, the S&P 500 touched a lifetime high of 1,897.28, the third time this week that the index set an intraday record, while the Dow hit an intraday record high of 16,631.63.
The government's nonfarm payrolls report showed a solid pace of hiring for a second month, suggesting the economy appears to be recovering from a winter slowdown.
Employers added 192,000 jobs in March, just shy of the 200,000 forecast, after hiring 197,000 in February. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent, according to the report.
Decliners beat advancers on the NYSE by 1,987 to 1,043 and on the Nasdaq by 2,217 to 446.
About 7.6 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, well above the 6.3 billion average so far this month, according to data from BATS Global Markets.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.56 percent at 1,352.78.
The dollar was choppy against the euro and declined against other major currencies despite the US jobs gains
The greenback was up 0.14 percent against the euro at $1.3695. It fell 0.66 percent to 103.22 against the Japanese yen after hitting a session high of 104.12 yen in trading immediately after the employment report.
Brent crude rose above $106 a barrel as expectations of a deal to reopen vital Libyan oil ports were offset by doubts that a lasting resolution was imminent.
Brent crude settled up 57 cents at $106.15 a barrel. US crude, or West Texas Intermediate, rose 85 cents to settle at $101.14 a barrel.