Technology shares pull broader market lower in early trading

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Currency traders watch monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Asian shares were mixed Tuesday after strong corporate earnings and economic data lifted stocks on Wall Street. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

AP

Stocks were solidify lower in early trading Tuesday, dragged down by banks and big technology companies like Apple and Google. Investors continue to focus on corporate earnings and the economic recovery, as eyes start turning to this week’s jobs report.

The S&P 500 index was down 1% as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 2%. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks was down 2% as well.

Big technology shares were dragging down the entire market. Apple fell 3%, Facebook shares were down 2%, Google’s parent company was down 2% as well and Amazon was down 1.5%. The declines added to the drop in tech shares that happened late Monday, which caused the Nasdaq to end yesterday’s session in the red.

Bank stocks were also down, following bond yields lower. Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup were all down 1% or more. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note dropped sharply to 1.55% from 1.60% the day before.

Saudi Aramco said Tuesday its profits soared by 30% in the first-quarter of the year, compared to last year, riding on the back of higher crude oil prices and recovering demand as major economies claw their way out of recession, easing restrictions amid coronavirus vaccine rollouts.

Until this week, stocks have been grinding higher on expectations of an economic recovery and strong company profits this year as large-scale coronavirus vaccination programs help people return to jobs and normal activities after more than a year of restrictions. Massive support from the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve, and increasingly positive economic data, have also helped put investors in a buying mood, keeping stock indexes near their all-time highs.

More than half of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their results so far this earnings season, which show profit growth of 54% so far, according to FactSet.

On Monday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economic outlook has “clearly brightened” in the United States, but the recovery remains too uneven.

Investors will get a closely watched jobs report on Friday. Economists expect that U.S. employers hired 975,000 workers last month as the economy accelerated out of the pandemic and vaccines rolled out nationwide. The unemployment rate is expected to drop to 5.8% from 6%.

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